Gender violence

Three defendants deny gang rape: "No one was holding her down, she did what she wanted".

Defendants try to dismantle the victim's story

2 min
Screenshot of the statement of one of the accused during the trial for the gang rape of a girl to Santo Boi the 2018

BarcelonaThe trial against the three men accused of gang-raping a girl outside a Sant Boi nightclub in 2018 began last Thursday in Barcelona. The victim claimed the accused forced her into their car, took her to an open field and raped her, while some of them took photos and videos with their mobile phones, which they then passed on to their contacts. This Monday the defendants have given a version which is diametrically opposed to the girl's and have claimed that she was "provoking" them and asked them to have sex. "Nobody held her down, she did what she wanted," said one of the defendants.

When defending himself, one of the accused even claimed that the victim told him at some point in the night "she had been abused before, she had been raped". "But that same night?" the presiding judge asked him with stupefaction. The accused explained that at the time he did not think of asking, but then thought that it could have been "that same night". "And this did not make you rethink anything at that time?" the magistrate asked him again: "We treated her very well," he replied.

The forensic experts found biological remains of the three investigated on the victim's clothes and under her fingernails. As there is no doubt of the existence of sexual acts, the defence has claimed the victim consented. According to the men's version, it was she who voluntarily got into the car, who asked one of the men to remove her bra "because it was in her way", who asked them to photograph her pouring alcohol on her breasts – "take pictures of me, so you can see my €5,000 tits", she allegedly told them, who then asked them to go to a "more secluded" place, who was "provoking them" all the time and who was the first to take the initiative to kiss them, give them fellatio or ask one of the men to penetrate her. "When a person wants to, there is nothing wrong with it".

The prosecution did not believe the explanations of the accused. It continues to ask for between 43 and 46 years in prison for having gang-raped the girl inside the vehicle and has increased the amount sought in compensation for the victim. Last Thursday the girl explained to the court that her life "has changed completely" since the assault: "As a result of the trauma I do not know how to manage everything, I still do not go out alone, I have to be accompanied and I do not talk to strangers," she said. According to the victim's version, the accused stopped their car outside the club, forced her into the boot, took her to an open field and raped her in turns inside the vehicle, while the rest of them grabbed her by the arms and head.

The police and most of the experts who have testified at the trial have no doubt that the girl was the victim of sexual aggression. On the other hand, the defence has provided the testimony of two psychologists to try to shake the girl's credibility. According to these experts, her story is not "coherent", nor "concrete", nor is it very "limited in time". The presiding judge has questioned the methodology of this report, which also rules out that the defendants have the profile of a sex offender. He told them off: "I am stupefied that you [referring to the defence] ask [the expert witnesses] about the victim's credibility levels. Precisely that is what this court is here to evaluate".