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Young woman lying unconscious on a table
The victim was unconscious and therefore wasn't forcibly assaulted, the court said. A Spanish court sentenced five men charged with gang-raping a year-old-girl to 10 to 12 years in jail for sexual abuse Thursday, concluding that it wasn't rape, which carries a harsher sentence, because the victim was unconscious and therefore wasn't forcibly assaulted. The case in Manresa, in the northeastern region of Catalonia, had sparked protests in Spain over the country's sexual-offenses laws, which critics say are outdated and fail to adequately protect victims. Under Spanish law, the perpetrator must use violence against or intimidate the victim for the act to qualify as rape or sexual assault. While the public prosecutor had called for the defendants to be charged with rape, the court ultimately ruled that it was only sexual abuse because the teenager was in an "unconscious state" and didn't fight back as the legal definition requires. Advocates for victims of sexual assault argue that the law needs to take into account that "involuntary paralysis" or "freezing" is a common response to sexual assault, according to the Independent, as well as that victims can't give consent when unconscious. Barcelona erupted in protests earlier this month after the Supreme Court found nine Catalan separatists guilty of sedition and sentenced them to nine to 13 years in jail - ultimately a harsher sentence than the "Wolf Pack of Manresa," as the defendants in the rape case have come to be called in Spain. The incident - in which five men aged 19 to 26 were accused of taking turns gang-raping the minor while another man watched and masturbated - took place in an abandoned factory in October during a party that involved drugs and alcohol. The victim was reportedly intoxicated and told the court she only remembered parts of the alleged assault. The public prosecutor said that one of the defendants knew the victim, as well as her age and that she was intoxicated at the party, according to Spanish media El Pais.
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Police in Courtenay are searching for witnesses after a Grade 10 girl was allegedly assaulted by a group of four other teens. The victim's mother, who wished to remain anonymous, said her daughter was attacked on a trail she has been walking on since she was in Kindergarten. They hit her in the head so hard her vision went blurry," the mother told CTV News. She identified the pants and shoes of the four individuals. She said the teens hit and kicked her daughter "multiple times" while telling her she "didn't deserve to live and that maybe this would teach her a lesson. She alleged the group had the girl on her back while kicking her up against a rock on the trail.
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