Spanish court convicts ‘pack’ of 5 men for sex assault, not rape

April 26 (UPI) — Protests erupted in Spain Thursday after a court convicted five men of sexually abusing an 18-year-old woman — with demonstrators outraged they will not be punished on more severe charges of rape.

The three-judge panel in Pamplona convicted the men and sentenced each to a nine-year prison sentence. Prosecutors originally sought 22 years for each.

The lead judge, José Francisco Cobo, announced the defendants had been found guilty of “continuous sexual abuse,” despite accusations they gang raped the woman.

The men were ordered to pay the victim about $12,000 each and must obey restraining orders to keep them from contacting or approaching her.

Protesters gathered Thursday at the courthouse, where supporters of the woman chanted, “We want justice!” and “Rape is not abuse!”

Others chanted, “If they touch one of us, they touch all of us.”

The judges took three months to rule on the case, with one jurist voting to acquit the men on all charges.

The culprits, who called themselves “The Pack,” offered to walk the woman to her car in July 2016 during the famous Running of the Bulls. After she agreed, they attacked her in a nearby building and filmed the assault with their cellphones.

Defense attorneys argued the video footage from the men’s phones, which showed a lack of movement by the woman during the acts, was proof she gave consent. Prosecutors said she was actually terrified to move.

Lawyers for the woman and attorneys for four of the men said they will appeal.

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