A court in the northern Spanish region of Navarre on Wednesday sentenced two members of the so-called “La Manada,” or “Wolf Pack,” to three years and three months in prison for filming the gang rape of an 18-year-old woman at the 2016 Running of the Bulls fiestas in Pamplona.
The court found that Antonio Manuel Guerrero and Alfonso Jesús Cabezuelo were guilty of privacy violations for recording seven videos and taking two photos of the gang rape they committed with three of their friends.
The judges sentenced the defendants to the maximum sentence
All five members of the gang – José Ángel Prenda, Jesús Escudero, Ángel Pozas, Alfonso Jesús Cabezuelo and Antonio Manuel Guerrero – were convicted of sexual assault by the Spanish Supreme Court in June, after the victim appealed the sentence by the Navarre High Court, which had only found the men guilty of the lesser charge of sexual abuse. Four of the members are currently serving 15-year-prison terms, while Antonio Manuel Guerrero is serving an additional two years for stealing the victim’s cellphone.
In Wednesday’s ruling, which can be appealed, the judges sentenced the defendants to the maximum sentence requested by both the private prosecution, brought by the victim, and the public accusation, brought by the regional government of Navarre and the city of Pamplona. Both were also ordered to pay €5,670 in damages.
The three judges agreed that the videos and photographs were taken “with the idea of capturing and recording the acts of a sexual nature” committed against the victim, and without her “expressed or tacit consent.”
The judges acquitted three of the other La Manada members of committing privacy offenses.The lawyer for La Manada, Agustín Martínez Becerra, told EL PAÍS that they would appeal the sentence.
Four members of La Manada also stood trial this week over accusations they sexually abused an unconscious 21-year-old woman in Pozoblanco, in the southern province of Córdoba, just two months before the gang rape in Pamplona.
In this separate case, they are accused of kissing and touching the breasts of the woman in a moving vehicle while she was asleep, also capturing their actions on a cellphone and then sharing the recordings via WhatsApp.
The recording came to light during the investigative phase of the Pamplona case, after the judge in charge of the probe alerted a colleague in Pozoblanco, in the Andalusian province of Córdoba, about the images that were discovered on the cellphones of the gang.
The video is the main evidence to support the accusation against the defendants.
The judge in charge of the case confirmed in a written statement that the accused and the victim met on May 1 in local fiestas in Torrecampo, also in Córdoba. The young woman decided to return to Pozoblanco with the members of La Manada, and got into a vehicle belonging to Guerrero, who is a member of Spain’s Civil Guard. According to the judge’s findings, the girl sat “in the middle of the back seat, between Alfonso Jesús,” who is a member of the military, “and Jesús,” who is a hairdresser.
As soon as she got into the car, the woman “fell into a deep state of unconsciousness, a state that the suspects took advantage of to touch her breasts.” Cabezuelo then “grabs her by the neck and gives her a number of kisses on her mouth,” while Prenda records everything with Guerrero’s cellphone, “at the same time touching her breasts.” Escudero and Cabezuelo continue to touch the victim’s breasts, until the civil guard does the same, “while driving.”
But the harassment did not stop there, according to the investigating judge. Once in Pozoblanco, Cabezuelo and the victim moved into the front seats, while the other men left the vehicle. Just before arriving at her home, the young woman woke up, “which is when Alfonso orders her to fellate him, and, given her refusal, he slaps her in the face and on the arm, throwing her out of the car, while calling her a ‘whore’.” Cabezuelo is facing a separate assault charge for having struck the victim.
On the first court hearing on Monday, the defendants declared they were innocent, and invoked their right not to answer questions from either the defense or prosecutors. The public prosecutor is calling for each of the four men to be sentenced to three years for sexual abuse and four years for privacy offenses.
English version by Melissa Kitson.