Concentration in Valencia in protest against the release of the members of La Manada in 2017. Mònica Torres
The Provincial Court of Navarra has decided to maintain a position similar to that of the State Attorney General's Office and, as announced this Monday, will not use the law of
only yes is yes
to reduce sentences for sexual offenders if the sentence imposed with the previous regulations It can also be applied with the new one.
The Board of Magistrates of the Criminal Sections of the Navarrese court has reached this agreement after holding a meeting to unify criteria, as other provincial Courts have already done, which maintain disparate positions.
For example, those of Madrid, Bizkaia, Granada, Zaragoza, Córdoba and Málaga last week distanced themselves from the criteria of the Prosecutor's Office and agreed to apply the criteria most favorable to the prisoner.
The criminal debate on the 'only yes is yes' law: the case of the 'narco' who asked to lower his sentence and the Supreme Court rejected
Through a statement, the Court of Navarra has detailed that it adopts this decision while waiting for the Supreme Court to rule and establish "doctrine" on the Law of Comprehensive Guarantee of Sexual Freedom, whose entry into force is marked by the controversy.
In recent weeks, about twenty sentence reductions for those convicted of sexual offenses have been reported.
Dozens of others sentenced have requested that similar benefits be applied to them: among them, Ángel Boza, one of the five members of La Manada —the group that raped an 18-year-old girl in the 2016 Sanfermines and whose case promoted, precisely, this legislative reform.
Boza, sentenced to 15 years in prison for that sexual assault —considered first abuse by the Provincial Court and later rape by the Supreme Court—, has asked the Court of Navarra to reduce the sentence to 13 years and nine months.
An application that, if the criteria agreed upon now in the meeting of magistrates are applied, will not prosper.
According to the calculations of his own defense, with the law of
only yes is yes
the range of penalties provided for this crime ranges from 13 to 18 years in prison and, therefore, the initial sentence is also possible with the new regulations.
To defend its position, in line with the State Attorney General's Office, the Court of Navarra argues that the law of
only yes is yes
"establishes a new configuration of criminal offenses": "There is no true correlation with the repealed precepts that allows a objective comparison of identical crimes”.
For this reason, he adds, the sentences will only be lowered when they exceed the maximum penalties provided for in the new regulations.
"The sentence will not be reviewed in those cases in which the sentence imposed is also taxable under the new legal framework," the statement states.
Last Monday, the State Attorney General, Álvaro García Ortiz, issued a decree ordering prosecutors to oppose reviewing sentences for sexual offenders when the original sentence is included in the range of sentences contemplated in the new law.
However, different Provincial Courts have maintained another criterion: the one in Madrid agreed that, in cases in which the minimum sentence had initially been applied to the sexual offender, the ruling will be reviewed to impose the new minimum sentence, as has already happened in several cases in that community.
The argument is that it is necessary to comply with the basic criminal principle that the convicted person has the right to the retroactive application of the law when it favors him.
Cantabria lowers the sentence of two rapists from 18 to 11 years
The Court of Cantabria has reduced from 18 to 11 years the sentence that it had imposed in 2020 on two men who raped a woman in a Santander hostel.
Each of them was initially sentenced to 12 years in prison for aggravated sexual assault (for the joint perpetration of two people) and another six years as necessary cooperators, since the young woman was held by one of them while the other raped her and then the two aggressors exchanged.
The First Section of the hearing, after considering the appeal of the defense of the convicted, now sets the penalty for the first offense at seven years in prison and for the second, at four, so that the penalty for each remains in 11 years in prison.
The court argues that the original sentence was the minimum that the law provided at that time for an aggravated crime (12 years), and that the minimum is now seven years.
"The penalty range [with the previous law] ranged from 12 to 15 years in prison. Now a penalty of between seven and 15 years is provided for such conduct," the judges explain.
Therefore, they maintain, "following the criteria of the sentence handed down by this court, if the minimum sentence provided for in the law is applied, it would be appropriate to sanction the conduct with a sentence of seven years in prison."
The same criteria that they expose for the crime of necessary cooperation.
The court thus distances itself from the criteria of the State Attorney General's Office and does not see the application of the transitory provision of the Penal Code of 1995 on the review of sentences on which some judicial bodies have based themselves to maintain them.
"It is not considered that these criteria are applicable to a law approved 27 years after that," says the order, which recalls that other organic laws that have modified the Criminal Code have contained a provision to limit the reduction of sentences already dictated.
The law of
only yes is yes
does not contain it.
The facts proven in the sentence recount how the two convicts invited a woman with whom they had been having drinks in various bars in the Cantabrian capital to go up to a hostel in Santander.
Once there, despite the refusal of her victim, "one of them threw her on her bed and forced her to perform fellatio, while the other penetrated her."
"Then they exchanged her positions, penetrating her both vaginally and orally, despite the woman's refusal."