27 of the 30 accused are sentenced for the dissemination of a sexual video of a couple without their consent in Asturias

27 of the 30 accused are sentenced for the dissemination of a sexual video of a couple without their consent in Asturias

The magistrate of the Criminal Court 2 of Avilés has convicted 27 of the 30 people who were tried for the dissemination, through WhatsApp groups, of a video in which a couple who was having sex was perfectly recognized for a crime against privacy. sexual relations.

Three other defendants have been acquitted since, in their case, they sent messages containing the recording or a photomontage to the victims’ closest circle so that they were aware that they had been recorded and their images had been disseminated without their consent.

A recording that was even linked to pornographic pages. The court itself recognizes that today, 14 years later, the images have not been deleted.

These events have caused serious consequences for the two members of the couple that still persist today. They have even had to make a complete change in their lives and have left Asturias to avoid being singled out: she settled in Madrid and he lives in Germany.

The sentences

The sentence, which consists of 69 pages, was made public this Wednesday. Magistrate-judge María León Escobedo describes in detail the participation of each of the accused.

During the oral hearing of the trial, 21 of the 30 defendants reached an agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office and the private accusations, which were filed by the lawyers Anabel Prieto Torices and Clara Solano on behalf of the victims, and showed their agreement with the concurrence of the mitigating circumstances. simple reparation for damage and undue delays, a legal figure applicable in the latter case to all the accused whether they agreed or did not admit it.

These 21 defendants have been sentenced to an individual sentence of six months in prison, which may be replaced by the payment of a fine of 2,970 euros.

Six other defendants, who did not agree with the facts of the accusations, have received an individual sentence of one year and nine months in prison as well as the obligation to pay a fine of 2,646 euros.

The convicted defendants must also pay compensation of 20,000 euros to each of the members of the couple as civil liability.

Some of the accused had already consigned 2,000 euros prior to the trial, an amount that has served to mitigate the penalty since the mitigation of damage repair has been contemplated in their case.

Only three people have been acquitted. These are three defendants who had common friends with the victims and who, according to the resolution, the only intention that moved them when disseminating the video was to inform them.

The serious consequences of the victims

To this day, the video has not been deleted, with the consequent damage to both the two young people whose “lives have been destroyed” and their families.

The recording was made, without the couple’s consent, during the San Timoteo de Luarca festivities in 2010. Although it cannot be specified exactly, the magistrate-judge places before February 2, 2015 as the approximate date on which The defendants distributed to third parties a video with erotic content that affected the privacy of the two young people.

A video that “had been filmed without the knowledge or consent of both,” highlights the resolution.

Teasing, gossiping and whispering

The sentence especially highlights the serious personal, emotional and professional damage that these events caused to the couple and especially to the young woman, as she recounted during the oral hearing.

“Knowledge of these events and their social repercussions have had a serious effect on the life of the injured party, which has very intensely affected her personal situation, requiring professional help to try to overcome it, as she is the object of ridicule, gossip and whispering. in her hometown, having to move to live outside of it, given the social pressure that she came to suffer, as well as work pressure when the video was distributed among companies in which she could have worked,” says the head of the court.

The young woman lived in a town near Luarca, where her family continues to reside, and was also subjected to the looks and gossip of some of the accused, according to what some relatives and friends testified at the oral hearing.

The young man with whom he appears in the video has also suffered significant personal harm as the video was distributed among WhatsApp groups of students at the Gijón campus where he was studying and his illness aggravated due to the stress suffered by these events that It also affected his work performance and his relationship.

He did not travel to Asturias to attend the oral hearing of the trial and his absence provoked criticism from some of the accused who spoke out loudly.

The head of the court herself had to call their attention both for this attitude and for the contempt they showed towards the young woman during the story of the consequences that she continues to suffer today.

Some protests that several accused staged with comments in some cases sexist and in others with laughter and gesticulations, especially when she declared with a broken voice that she had to leave Asturias to avoid being singled out on the street where they came to take photos of her and insult her while she listened. whispers in groups that “it was her, the one in the video.”

The victims: “The trauma is going to haunt me forever”

“I didn’t dare leave the house and I have had to learn to live with it. It’s the worst thing that has happened to me in my life. I know that this trauma is going to haunt me forever,” the victim stated.

The ruling makes it clear that this case was prosecuted from the moment the defendants began broadcasting the video and not the moment it was recorded, since they were not charged with this crime. Today, 14 years after the couple were filmed, their authorship remains unknown.

Furthermore, the magistrate-judge points out that the accused were judged from the moment in which “they put the video into circulation, which once carried out – she adds – generated new circulations that have not ceased because that video was not removed or deleted by those who “They put it into circulation.”

“The case did not prescribe,” says the magistrate-judge.

The ruling rules out the possible prescription of the case alleged by the defenses, since despite the time that has passed, “there was no paralysis of the procedure,” he emphasizes.

Likewise, it clarifies that it was at the moment in which the victims became aware of the facts that the complaint was made and the proceedings were initiated.

“Therefore, no prescription can be accepted, especially when this judge – he emphasizes – resolved in the plenary session that the resolution of the question raised was left for a ruling together with the merits of the matter, as it was the subject of necessary proof.”

He also adds that the parties who had alleged this did not provide any evidence “about the possible date on which their clients are said to have committed the acts for which they are being accused, about the cancellation of the act committed and about the lack of subsequent circulation, extreme with which they could prove the concurrence of the possible alleged prescription, which they did not verify.”

A lack of verification that, in his opinion, is perhaps due to the fact that what does appear in the proceedings and has been proven is that the video was circulating “successively being sent by a plurality of uncontrollable people, who maintained the same in the channels through which they circulated it, without its deletion being recorded at least on their terminals or on the pages to which it was uploaded; so that, as many defendants recognized, the video became almost viral,” the ruling states.

The sentence is not final and an appeal can be filed against it before the Provincial Court of Asturias. Several defenses have already announced their intention to appeal the conviction.

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