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A military court acquits five sergeants who harassed a lesbian partner

2020-12-01T08:02:33.707Z

The sentence alleges that the NCO was not harassed because of her sexual orientation but because of professional rivalry.



Military women in an event organized by the Ministry of Defense at the El Goloso base (Madrid) .ULY MARTÍN

The derogatory comments about S. began before he joined the Field Artillery Regiment (RACA 93) of Tenerife, in May 2015. “A lesbian and lazy sergeant is going to arrive,” “a sergeant is going to come to whom They like cunts and tits more than Rubén, ”it was commented in the command canteen, according to several witnesses, who before the judge did not agree on who said it.

The atmosphere of contempt for her was "generalized" in the unit, admits the sentence handed down on October 30 by the Fifth Territorial Military Court, based in Tenerife.

It was promoted by five sergeants, four men and a woman, who made fun of her in public, calling her a "loafing", "frustrated man with a woman's body", "

minion

" (after the character in the animated film

Gru, my villain favorite

) or "rat", as well as "dwarf" and "lesbian", with a derogatory tone.

They always did it behind their back, but those comments reached their ears.

The other sergeants made a vacuum of S. and only spoke to her when they had no choice.

At the slightest occasion, they belittled his professionalism and worth.

In January 2016, during an instructional exercise in a battery, she was overwhelmed by the large number of traces sent by her colleagues.

A brigade, who found her "nervous and dejected", reproached the sergeants who had "enjoyed" at her expense.

They even humiliated her in front of the soldiers under her command.

In the autumn of the same year, at a shooting practice, S was giving instructions to the troops on how to do it when two sergeants approached and one of them pushed her away saying: "Now I'm in charge."

Months later, as the head of weapons, he sent a soldier for material, freeing him from training.

Another sergeant questioned the order in front of everyone present and confronted her, calling her “crazy” and turning his index finger on her temple.

S. appealed to the lieutenant to complain and explain to him that “he couldn't take it anymore”;

but this, says the sentence in an exculpatory tone, "due to his inexperience and his recent incorporation to the unit, he did not properly assess the situation" and limited himself to recommending that he "solve the problems" with his harassers.

In S.'s IPEC or personal report, the lieutenant wrote that she "did not relate to his colleagues, did not find out about things or send them to him, unlike other NCOs."

S.'s situation "was manifest and known to the rest of the members of the unit," but only one captain intervened and ordered a sergeant who had laughed at her in full formation to apologize.

She "replied that they were not accepted because it was not the first time."

S. never reported the harassment he suffered.

In March 2017, when she was testifying as a witness in another proceeding, she recounted some of the humiliations of which she had been a victim and the judge ordered the opening of preliminary proceedings, in which initially she did not even want to appear.

In May 2018, the same military court in Tenerife agreed to the definitive dismissal of the case, in which S.'s five fellow sergeants had already been processed, but the Fifth Chamber of the Supreme Court ordered him to reopen it and hold the trial.

The prosecutor asked for one year in jail for each of the five prosecuted for a crime of professional harassment and compensation of 3,000 euros;

while the private prosecution claimed two years each for the same crime and another four for a hate crime, in addition to 50,000 euros.

The defense asked for acquittal.

The private prosecution based the accusation of the hate crime on the fact that “it was the sergeant's homosexual condition that motivated the hostility and harassment against her”.

However, the court believes that the harassment "does not start, continue or focus on his homosexual condition", but that the main element was "professional rivalry and insane competition".

The sentence admits that "their sexual condition is an aspect that also generates some [humiliating] comment, but not with the prominence required for us to consider that the conduct originates from a situation of incitement to hatred towards this type of person."

The court also does not appreciate professional harassment.

The fact that the sergeants “did not make the pejorative comments and jokes directly” at her, but behind her back;

and that these had, "in principle, a trivial character, although they ended up being heavy due to their repetition", serves the military judges to conclude that they did not have "sufficient entity" to be a crime.

The sentence speaks of "thoughtlessness, bad companionship and ridicule", but without the ability to generate "a feeling of humiliation, humiliation and fear";

only "discomfort", especially due to the "misunderstanding" of some managers who he asked for help.

After concluding that there was “no serious impairment of the personal dignity” of S. nor was “discipline particularly affected”;

He acquits the five NCOs, although he warns that they can be punished for a very serious disciplinary offense.

The sentence is not yet final, but the defender of the NCOs, Antonio Suárez-Valdés, is pleased that it has been shown that there was only “a professional rivalry between NCOs, but in no case a persecution of one of them, much less for reason for their sexual orientation ”.

Source: elparis

All news articles on 2020-12-01

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