Yoseline Hoffman, a Mexican social media influencer better known as YosStop and who has more than eight million subscribers on YouTube, will remain in preventive custody for an additional two months, a judge ruled on Wednesday.
Hoffman, 30, is being investigated for child pornography offenses after she admitted to receiving, reproducing, storing and publicizing a video that showed the 2018 gang rape of a 16-year-old girl, whom the influencer described in one of her YouTube videos as “a slut” and “a prostitute” who deserved what she got.
The popular youtuber was arrested at her home in Mexico City on June 29, three months after the rape victim, Ainara Suárez, reported Hofmann for storing the video on her cellphone and later showing the footage on YouTube.
On Wednesday, a judge decided she should remain behind bars for a further two months in order to let both the defense and the prosecution collect more evidence. For now, Hoffman will stay at Santa Martha Acatitla penitentiary in Iztapalapa, south of the capital.
Hoffman’s lawyer gave assurances that she is doing well and “immersed in a reflective stage of her life”
Her lawyer, Ricardo Cajal, told the local media that they have appealed, but that they will nevertheless continue to provide evidence ahead of the hearings. Cajal admitted that the case might not even go to trial if an agreement is reached with Suárez, and gave assurances that Hoffman is doing well and “immersed in a reflective stage of her life.”
In late July, authorities also arrested one of the five individuals who allegedly assaulted Súarez at a party in 2018. The 19-year-old suspect was held at Mexico City airport as he was about to board a plane headed for Miami.
Suárez’s nightmare dates back to May 25, 2018. In an interview granted to EL PAÍS shortly after she filed the complaint, the young woman said that four men inserted a bottle of champagne into her vagina at a party that night. They recorded their actions and sent the video to their friends and posted it on social media. The case became even more controversial when YosStop discussed the recording and insulted the victim during a video released to her millions of followers. The scene of a nude minor being assaulted by several men quickly circulated via pornography websites.
From that moment on, a harassment campaign was launched against the victim. Speaking to friends and via social media, the men involved in the video claimed that Suárez had agreed to participate in the sex act in exchange for cigarettes. Suárez said she had to deal with death threats, insults and taunts, which she included in her complaint.
She was once also beaten by a group of young women at a park in the south of the city. Dozens of people filmed the assault and the footage went viral. In the midst of this battle between minors, who exchanged hate messages through popular social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, Hoffman waded into the controversy.
English version by Susana Urra.