The judges have handed down at least four other new sentences with reductions in which they apply the new law promoted by Equality
MADRID, 19 Nov. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The courts have already lowered at least 12 sentences of sexual abuse due to the application of the 'law of only yes is yes', promoted by the Ministry of Equality, and five people have been released from prison. It is expected that the magistrates will have to review dozens of sentences more every time that the reform of the Criminal Code is "more favorable to the prisoner."
Legal sources consulted by Europa Press have explained that Organic Law 10/2022 on the Comprehensive Guarantee of Sexual Freedom has caused the crime of sexual assault to absorb that of sexual abuse, which means that a crime that until now included a more serious conduct incorporate a less serious one, so the criminal range has also been expanded to cover the entire range of behaviors now punishable as sexual assault.
Among the cases of sentence review and sentence reduction, the sources consulted have confirmed four in Madrid, two in the Balearic Islands, two in Galicia, one in Andalusia, one in Castilla y León, one in Castilla La Mancha and one in Murcia. Five of these 12 cases have led to the release of the convicted: two from the Balearic Islands, two from Madrid and one from Galicia.
In their resolutions, the magistrates have indicated that the reductions respond to the application of the new law. And they have specified that although the regulations do not clarify whether or not it should be applied to procedures in process or with a final sentence, the Criminal Code itself indicates that "those criminal laws that favor the accused will have retroactive effect."
In the courts of Madrid, four sentences have been reviewed in which the prison sentences have finally been reduced. In one of the cases, the sentence imposed before the law was reduced by up to five years. In the other three they were lowered in two years. In two cases they were released.
Legal sources have specified that the Madrid Provincial Court is facing dozens of sentence reviews. For this reason, the presidents of its fifteen criminal sections have agreed to meet on Friday the 25th to "unify criteria."
The sources consulted have stressed that the conclave was already set prior to the controversy that arose because it is usual when there is a substantive legal change.
Among the cases of sentence reduction that Europa Press has been able to confirm, it is stated that the Superior Court of Justice (TSJ) of Murcia has ratified a sentence of a defendant for an attempted sexual assault on a woman in 2020. The court, however, has modified the sentence imposed because it is "more favorable" for the prisoner to apply the 'law of only yes is yes'. Thus, it has reduced the sentence from 4 years and 6 months to 3 years and 1 day in prison.
As a result of the law promoted by Equality, the Provincial Court of the Balearic Islands has ordered the immediate release of two prisoners who were serving a sentence of three years in prison for two sexual assaults without penetration after reviewing the two cases.
For their part, in Galicia, at the Provincial Court of Ourense, they have reviewed a sentence of 3 years and 6 months in prison imposed on the perpetrator of an attempted crime of sexual assault with carnal access. After the review, he has reduced the sentence to 2 years and 6 months in prison and has agreed to his release.
Likewise, the Galician Superior Court of Justice has reduced by two years the prison sentence imposed on a man who raped a woman he met through the Tinder social network in Cambre.
The legal sources consulted by Europa Press have pointed out that in Castilla y León, in the Provincial Court of Segovia, four enforceable sentences on sexual crimes have been reviewed and one of them has been modified. In this case, the sentence has been reduced from 12 years to 9 years in prison.
In the same way, it is clear that the TSJ of Andalusia has dismissed an appeal and although they have confirmed the sentence -- "by retroactive application of the current norm" -- they have reduced the prison sentence. Thus, it has gone from 13 years, 6 months and 1 day to 11 years and 1 day.
Added to the list is the case of the TSJ of Castilla La Mancha, which has lowered the sentence of a man who sexually assaulted a woman in Ciudad Real. Thus, he has gone from having to serve 9 years in prison to 8.
It should be remembered that the reviews carried out by judges are subject to appeal and that they could go as far as the Supreme Court (TS), the judicial seat called upon to establish jurisprudence.
Legal sources have specified to Europa Press that the Supreme Court would have to study the application of the law on a case-by-case basis, because the possibility of reaching non-jurisdictional agreements disappeared from the Organic Law of the Judiciary (LOPJ), so that it could not hold a conclave.
As explained by the aforementioned sources, the reviews made of final convictions prior to 2015 may be appealed directly to the Supreme Court, but those that refer to subsequent cases may only reach the high court when the appeal route in lower instances has been exhausted.
On the sidelines, other legal voices have confirmed to Europa Press that the Supreme Court has several appeals on the table against sentences for sexual crimes where the convicted have requested that the change operated by the 'law of only yes is yes' be considered, so the magistrates are expected to rule in the coming weeks.
One of the cases is a violation in Mallorca in which the defense has presented allegations requesting a reduction in sentence. This is a sentence of 12 years in prison, imposed on a 53-year-old man for a sexual assault on his underage niece in 2014 in Mallorca.
It is also expected that on November 29 the court will deliberate on the appeals filed against the ruling in the 'Arandina case', which acquitted one of the three convicted and reduced the sentences for the other two to four and three years. . The sources consulted have assured that the Supreme Court has addressed the defense, the Prosecutor's Office and the rest of the accusations so that they can rule on whether they consider that the 'Yes is yes' law can affect the sentence.
Given this scenario, other legal sources have specified to Europa Press that there are cases in which some courts have reviewed sentences and have not yet applied modifications.
In the Provincial Court of La Rioja, 54 sentences have already been reviewed after the entry into force of the law, but so far none have been modified. Two requests for review have been received at the Cantabria Provincial Court, but they have not yet been resolved.
In Extremadura, the Provincial Courts of Cáceres and Badajoz have begun to review ex officio all the sentences that could be affected by the new law. At the moment, in the province of Cáceres no case has been detected in which the sentence has to be reviewed ex officio, although it could be requested by the defendants themselves.
Apart from sentence reviews, the courts have also begun to hand down sentences relating to cases of sexual abuse. So far, 4 cases have been reported.
According to sources consulted by Europa Press, this week the TSJ of Galicia has applied the new penalties included in the 'law of only yes is yes' in one case, while in the Provincial Court of León they have been applied in two.
For their part, in the Provincial Court of Barcelona they have handed down a sentence for a consummated crime of rape. The magistrates have warned that they have imposed a sentence of 3 years and 10 months in prison that could have reached 6 years if it were not for the law promoted by Equality.