SPAIN: Gypsy Man Who Raped And Impregnated 12-Year-Old Girl Is Acquitted After Arguing That Adult-Child Sex Is Part Of His Culture

The Publica Team

A 20-year-old man who raped and impregnated a child has walked free from a Spanish courtroom after the judge decided that their “relationship” was justified by Romani culture.

Earlier this week, the court of Ciudad Real in central Spain decided that the “socio-cultural context” of the Gypsy ethnic group was a factor to be considered in the case of the man charged with the assault and abuse of a minor. The “socio-cultural context” resulted in the perpetrator, who also impregnated his 12-year-old victim with twins, being fully acquitted. 

In the ruling, the court stated that the adult-child sexual activity was “always consensual” and “within the framework of a romantic relationship.” Bizarrely, it also declared that the 12-year-old victim was “close in age and maturity” to her abuser.

The man was first arrested after the child attended a doctor’s visit and was found to be pregnant. While prosecutors had fought for a sentence of 11 years, the court ruled to acquit despite the fact that the age of consent in Spain is 16.

Despite the law, the court decided that the Gypsy man should benefit from a legal exception.

This is not the first case of child sexual assault where the court took into consideration customs followed by some of Spain’s Romani population. 

On May 27, just one day before the Ciudad Real ruling, the Provincial Court of Leon reduced a sentence for a 24-year-old Gypsy man who was found guilty of sexually assaulting his child bride.

Although the unnamed man impregnated the girl three times when she was between the ages of 12 and 15, the court concluded that in Gypsy culture “couple unions occur at very early ages,” a circumstance that acted as a mitigating factor. 

Though he was originally sentenced to 37 years in prison, the man’s term was reduced to just 8 years and nine months.

The cases have prompted outrage in Spain, with some politicians coming forward to condemn the courts.

Beatriz Micaela Carrillo, a member of the Congress of Deputies representing Seville, called the ruling an “absolute shame,” adding: “The Criminal Code does not exclude the protection of Roma minors, otherwise it would be defending that abusing, assaulting or raping Roma girls has few legal consequences.”

Carillo also argued that the rulings would spur racism against Gypsies in Spain.

“The law cannot make exceptions with Gypsy girls, or rely on the child’s ‘consent’ to reduce the penalty of a rapist. In this nonsense, another issue will be added: the emergence of anti-Gypsy sentiment [that will come from] declaring that raping an 11-year-old girl after impregnating her is something normal among Gypsies.”

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