One of the three Spanish footballers found guilty of raping a 15-year-old girl and sentenced to 38 years in prison has been acquitted while the other two have had their sentences reduced to three and four years.
The decision came from the Superior Tribune of Castile and Leon after Spanish footballers Carlos Cuadrado, 24, Victor Rodriguez, 22, and Raul Calvo, 19, were found guilty of raping a 15-year-old girl by the Burgos Provincial Court.
The three footballers, who played for third-tier side Arandina FC, were each sentenced to 38 years in prison, however, the decision has now been overturned acquitting Calvo and reducing the sentence of Cuadrado and Rodriguez to four and three years in prison respectively.
Local media report the decision comes as the Spanish court has taken into account the closeness of age and maturity between the victim and the perpetrators.
The court does not believe that the minor was intimidated into committing the sexual acts as she initially claimed, with the case now deemed to be sexual abuse of a minor. Calvo was reportedly acquitted as his age is the closest to the victim’s and he was considered to be of a similar maturity to her.
The legal age of consent in Spain is 16 years of age.
The court considers the minor’s statements of carrying out the sexual acts with the former footballers to be true, however, they “lack credibility in the form that they happened” according to Spanish newspaper ‘El Mundo’.
The court also ruled Cuadrado and Rodriguez have to jointly pay the 15-year-old 10,000 EUR (9,219 GBP).
The three footballers were accused of sexually assaulting the underage girl at their flat in the town of Aranda de Duero in the Castile and Leon region of north-central Spain. According to local media, they committed the crime after she refused to have sex with them at the flat that they share.
In the initial court hearing the trio was found to have committed “sexual assault with carnal access to the mouth” of the young girl.
The sentence added that there was “the existence of environmental intimidation due to the fact that the three defendants acted on the victim, on their floor, with the light off and by surprise, without the minor being able to react, due to the difference in age and physical complexion of the accused.”
The trio were initially handed 14 years for the rape of a minor and 24 years for co-operating in the crimes of their co-conspirators, however, the decision has since been overturned.
The girl was reportedly receiving psychological treatment and had been travelling to Madrid every week with her parents to receive the treatment. It was during one of these sessions when she reportedly said three men had proposed having sex with her in their home.
She had reportedly said she “submitted” to them to “avoid worse evils”.
They were first arrested in December 2017 and the trial began on 21st November 2019, and the request for penalties was based on the jurisprudence created in the ‘Wolf Pack’ case.
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Story By: Juan Mayes , Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport
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