The Provincial Court of Cantabria It reduced by 7 years the prison sentences handed down in 2020 to two people convicted of sexually assaulting a young woman at a hostel in Santander. Thus, there are already three attackers who have had their sentences reduced in this autonomous community and at least 35 throughout the country for the so-called the law of the only yes is yes.
In this case, each of them was sentenced to 18 years in prison – 12 years in prison for the crime of assault and 6 years for cooperating with the other. From now on, the sentences are 11 years in prison -7 years for aggression and 4 for cooperation-. On the sidelines, both were given a special ban on working or trading involving contact with minors for 10 years after serving their prison sentences.
The first section of the Court of Cantabria thus responded to the request for legal representation of the two convicts, who alleged the recent reform of the Criminal Code and the constitutional principle of retroactivity of the criminal law more favorable to the prisoner.
According to the facts proven in the sentence, the two men -after having spent the night with a woman in several cocktail bars in Santander- invited the victim to go up to the room of the hostel where they were staying, where they sexually assaulted.
Organic Law 10/2022 on the integral guarantee of sexual freedom made the crime of sexual assault absorb that of sexual abuse, which means that a crime that until now included a more serious behavior in incorporates a less serious, so the criminal range has also been expanded to cover the full range of behavior now punishable as sexual assault.
The court explained in its decision that the men were convicted, first, of the commission of a crime of sexual assault by the joint action of two or more people.
The sentence reflected that, “taking into account the absence of circumstances modifying criminal responsibility, the personal circumstances of the defendants and the evident gravity of the fact, the sentence is set at a minimum of 12 years”.
With the legislation in force at the time, the penalty varied from 12 to 15 years in prison. Now, a sentence of 7 to 15 years is provided for such behavior.
Therefore, “under the criteria for sentencing by this court, if the minimum sentence provided by law is applied, the conduct should be punished with a sentence of seven years in prison”.
Similarly, for the crime as necessary collaborators in a sexual assault, they were later sentenced to 6 years in prison, the “minimum sentence” being deemed appropriate.
The range for this crime has been increased from 6 to 12 years, and now it is increased from 4 to 12 years. Again, following the sentencing criteria for applying the minimum sentence, the Court understands that the behavior should be punished with four years in prison. jail.
Among the reasons that the court of Cantabria developed to carry out the review, is the fact that the 12-year sentence, which was then the minimum, would now be in the upper half; and the six-year-old would be located in the central part of the lower half, “far, in any case, from the legal minimum”.
At the same time, the magistrates indicated that to analyze now the specific circumstances of the case – that is to say “if an element can now be considered as justifying the maintenance of the previous sentence” – “would involve retrying the case and to do so against the defendant.”