The case of the four Portuguese accused of raping two Spanish girls, relaunches the discussion on the limits of consent and this under the laws of each country.
In Portugal, for example, it is enough to be a forced act without it being necessary to prove whether there was consent or not. In Spain, the proof that has to be done in court is whether there was consent to the sexual practice or not.
There is nothing in the law that says that this crime is committed by anyone who acts without consent. On the contrary, anyone who constrains, with or without violence, with or without serious threat, commits this crime”, explains lawyer Tiago Melo Alves.
In the neighboring country, crimes of sexual abuse and assault are considered to be extremely serious and so if the facts are proven, the penal framework can be heavy.
If there is a breach with penetration, we are talking about a penalty that can go from six to 12 years. But if there is an imposition of humiliating, degrading behavior, or the violation is committed by two or more people, the penalty ranges from 12 to 15 years”, explained the jurist.
The defense of young people can be based on messages between the alleged victims and the alleged aggressors, among other means of evidence.
The defense, in this type of situation, will always have to resort to the evidence that is considered most credible in order to influence the court. For example, is there or is there not footage of what happened? And, above all, the analysis of exams carried out in a hospital environment and noticing if there are any injuries”, he stressed.
The Portuguese lawyer reaffirms that the sexual act was consented and that no injury was found that puts the crimes in question.
Or because a person says no and that is very express and clear. The fact that a person consents to a sexual relationship does not mean that he has to consent to everything”, says Carla Ferreira, from APAV.
It is recalled that two young women, one from Gijón and the other from the city of Bergara, filed a complaint with the police on Saturday, alleging that they had been sexually assaulted by the Portuguese that dawn.
The four Portuguese were formally detained after the criminal investigation court in Gijón decided on Sunday to extend their detention while waiting for the availability of all documentation relating to the case of sexual abuse, including clinical reports and indication of the injuries suffered.
The Portuguese, all under 30 years of age, defended their innocence on Sunday to the magistrate, denied the criminal acts they are accused of and ensured that sexual relations with the two young women were consented.
The two women denounced the sexual assault at the police station at 6:30 am on Saturday, explaining that they had met a man in a bar and that they had traveled with him to the pension where he was staying for a sexual encounter.
According to the victims’ report, on the way to the pension, another man joined them and, when they arrived at the room, they found two other Portuguese who forced them to have sex with all of them.