You were harassed for achieving a prized position in your unit and getting along with your superior
The Supreme Court (TS) has confirmed the sentences of between 8 and 10 months in prison that were imposed on five Army sergeants for harassing another colleague, also a sergeant, from 2015 to 2017, at the Mistral Battery of the 93rd Field Artillery Regiment (RACA 93) of Tenerife, where they were stationed.
In the sentence, collected by Europa Press, the Military Chamber has thus dismissed the appeals presented by these five soldiers against the resolution of a military court that sentenced one of the sergeants to 10 months in prison and the other four to 8 months. from prison.
The Supreme Court recalls that they were convicted of a consummated crime against the exercise of the fundamental rights and public liberties of the military, article 50 of the Military Penal Code, in its modality of seriously violating personal dignity or in the work of military personnel of the same job in installations of the Armed Forces or attached to them or with publicity. In addition, all of them were sentenced to indemnify the sergeant victim of the crime with 3,000 euros for moral damages.
According to the high court in the factual background of the sentence, the harassed soldier, despite not being the oldest, was placed by the Unit's brigade in the simulator, a position appreciated in the Mistral Battery for being very specialized.
The five convicts, who called their superior a "rat" without his knowledge, began to use that term to also refer to their partner because of the good relationship he had with the brigade.
In September 2015, the brigade and the harassed soldier traveled with a group of troops from the Unit to the Segovia Artillery Academy to carry out training and evaluation exercises in the simulator from Monday to Friday.
The troop raised the possibility of advancing the evaluation to Thursday so that they could go out that night without the pressure of having to be evaluated the next day. The sergeant rejected the request because he considered that he had gone to Segovia to work.
Back in Tenerife, a soldier made him ugly by revealing to the brigade that another sergeant had taken a day of his own business due to a hangover. From that moment on, according to the proven facts, "the pressure" on him increased.
Thus, throughout 2016 and until he was discharged from psychiatric hospital, he was displaced from the group of convicted sergeants and was subjected to constant insults. They called him a "snitch", "rat", "brigade whore" and he was the object of rude mockery for his relationship with him.
In their appeal before the Supreme Court, the defendants alleged that their right to effective judicial protection had been violated, that there had been a predetermination of the ruling in the trial judgment, that their right to the presumption of innocence and the principle of legality to be applied had been violated. improperly the criminal type provided for in article 50 of the Military Penal Code.
"UNDERMING PERSONAL DIGNITY"
But the Chamber considers that the sentence under appeal "analyzes in detail the concurrence in the case of all the elements of the criminal type applied", and among them "the reiteration and seriousness of the actions of harassment carried out by the five appellants against the sergeant, the which go far beyond the mere disciplinary sphere".
In the same way, it indicates that the subjective element of the type concurs, constituted by the generic fraud consisting of the full awareness and will on the part of the appellants to carry out the various denigrating behaviors against the sergeant, "with the sole purpose of undermining his personal and professional dignity.
The sentence explains that "when these behaviors are carried out in a constant, systematic and permanent manner, in such a way that they cause a serious disturbance in their well-being in the person who suffers them, causing feelings of vexation, humiliation and objectification and a mental deterioration, it occurs the serious attack on dignity provided for in the type applied".
It adds that the Supreme Court "cannot but agree with the trial court when it states that" in the present case, the actions to which the victim is subjected are serious, they are multiple, they attack him both personally and in the professional".
Legal sources consulted by Europa Press indicate that these five sergeants were already sentenced in 2021 by the Supreme Court to one year in prison for workplace and professional harassment of a colleague.
In that case, since that sergeant joined the Unit, she began to receive news about joking comments, vexation and contempt towards her person by the convicted, who questioned her preparation and professionalism.
According to that sentence, the sergeant was mocked by her colleagues but not directly, although the comments ended up reaching her. Thus, she was described as "chihuahua", "gandula", "minion" or "rat".