In the early hours of July 7, 2016, a young woman from Madrid – then just 18 – was making her way from the chaos of the running of the bulls festival in Pamplona to the car she was sleeping in while staying in the city.
A group of five men who referred to themselves as ‘La Manada’ (the Wolf Pack) approached her as she walked, offering to accompany the teenager to her car. Instead, they proceeded to haul the young woman into the doorway of an apartment building’s lobby. There, all five men had unprotected sexual intercourse her while filming the attack on their phones. They then allegedly stole her phone and ran, leaving her slumped, alone and battered in the doorway of a strange building in Pamplona.
A short while later, a couple stumbled on the woman lying on a bench, crying and curled into the foetal position. She went to police, gave detailed descriptions of the five men and each were arrested the following day.
Now, nearly two years after the fact, the five assailants, including a police officer and a soldier, were cleared of raping the teenager but found guilty of sexual abuse. Sexual abuse does not encompass rape and carries a lesser sentence in Spain – in this case nine years each instead of a possible 22.
On Saturday, over 32,000 people in Spain stormed the streets of Pamplona, chanting slogans such as “it is not abuse, it is aggression, we believe you” and “it’s OK sister, here is your wolfpack”.
The case has since made headlines across the world, outrage exploding for not solely the verdict but the entire state of Spain’s judiciary process.
After all, the five men – who, by the way, later shared the video they took on a Whatsapp group in which they referred to themselves as La Manada – were cleared of rape after a judge said there was no evidence of violence or intimidation in their actions.
Right now, a victim must prove that a perpetrator was violent or intimidating to gain a rape conviction.