Gypsy Man Rapes 12-Year-Old, Leaving Her Pregnant, Then Acquitted by Spanish Court

Gypsy Man Rapes 12-Year-Old, Leaving Her Pregnant, Then Acquitted by Spanish Court
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In a shock­ing rul­ing, a Span­ish court has acquit­ted a 20-year-old Gyp­sy man who raped a 12-year-old girl, leav­ing her preg­nant with twins. 

The court took into account the “socio-cul­tur­al con­text of the Gyp­sy eth­nic group” to jus­ti­fy the deci­sion, claim­ing their sex­u­al rela­tions were “always con­sen­su­al with­in the frame­work of a roman­tic relationship.”

The age of con­sent in Spain is 16, mean­ing any­one younger can­not legal­ly con­sent to sex. How­ev­er, the court ruled the man should ben­e­fit from a legal excep­tion due to the “cul­tur­al real­i­ty” of the Romani community.

This is the lat­est in a series of sim­i­lar rul­ings in Spain where judges have con­sid­ered “cus­toms” with­in the Roma pop­u­la­tion to mit­i­gate sen­tences for sex­u­al crimes against minors.

In a pre­vi­ous case, a man who sex­u­al­ly assault­ed a minor three times between the ages of 12–15 was sen­tenced to just 11 years, with the court stat­ing “in gyp­sy cul­ture, cou­ple unions occur at very ear­ly ages.” The vic­tim, who is also Romani, con­firmed this was “nor­mal” in her community.

The rul­ings have sparked out­rage, with equal­i­ty offi­cials call­ing them “shame­ful” for allud­ing to “an alleged non-exis­tent cus­tom” to jus­ti­fy the reduced sentences. 

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Gyp­sy Sec­re­tari­at Foun­da­tion also con­demned the deci­sions, stat­ing they pro­mote a “neg­a­tive image” of the Roma peo­ple that “does not cor­re­spond to the reality.”

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