Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Spain: Briton, 32, Drugged, Gang-Raped by Three Assailants in 2001 is Denied Real Justice

According to The Daily Mail, three Spaniards, who ranged in ages of 22 to 24 in 2001, who drugged and repeatedly gang-raped a British women, 32, on the Costa del Sol, have all been sentenced to a scant four years in prison, which in my book, amounts to a slap on the hand.

Francisco Santiago, his brother, Mariano, and cousin, David Santiago, were all sentenced to four years in prison sentences at a Spanish court for the 2001 sexual assault, which left their female victim battered and bruised.

The assailants were arrested nine years later after the attack in a DNA breakthrough when one of the accused had his genetic profile checked following his arrest for an unrelated offense.

COMMENT: Ostensibly, the court ruled that an unreasonable amount of time had passed between the time the crimes were committed and the time sentences were rendered, as if somehow the defendants were deprived of a speedy trial.

Interestingly, all three defendants had the opportunity of surrendering themselves to police shortly after brutalizing the victim, but failed to do so. Actually, they seemed unaffected by their brutality.

Both of the Santiago brothers had previous convictions for violent crimes, but seemingly saw no reason to turn themselves in.

The victim, who was on holiday with her boyfriend in 2001, was alone when she met the men at a nightclub in Puerto Marina, Benalmadena. She was subsequently lured into accepting a lift home by the three strangers, but instead was taken against her will to a remote area in the early hours of October 4, 2001, the court heard.
 
The defendants threatened the British victim with a knife in order to force her to take a drug that no doubt reduced her to an indefensible state.

State prosecutor María Teresa Verdugo had requested sentences of 31 years each for the Francisco brothers and 26 years for a cousin, David Santiago, but the judge seemingly "blew off" her recommendation without serious consideration.

Yet, the judge presiding over the case, obviously a man who has never experienced a gang-rape, gave each of the defendants a mere four years in prison, even though the prosecutor believed that David Santiago played a lesser role.

Rather than accept a ride home during the early morning hours of October 4, from three strangers, outnumbered as she was, the victim should either have called the police for help or requested that her hotel send a car for her, rather than face the fate she ultimately experienced.