By Dilip Kuner • 29 October 2018 • 9:40
ONE of the members of the infamous La Manada (the wolf pack) gang who sexually abused a young woman has been kicked out of the Spanish army.
Alfonso Jesús Cabezuelo is one of a group of five friends who were convicted of abusing the woman at the 2016 Running of the Bulls fiestas in Pamplona.
The case has been a cause célèbre in Spain after they were convicted of the lesser charge of sexual abuse rather than sexual assault, which would have attracted lengthier sentences.
The latter category includes rape and the prosecutor had asked in the original trial for a sentence of 18 years for each of the gang.
Instead they were sentenced to nine years each – a judgment that attracted chants of it’s not abuse, it’s rape’ from crowds outside the courthouse.
The case has since moved on to the Supreme Court for a final ruling, with the members of the gang still free.
Cabezuelo, 30, had remained in the army and received his basic pay despite not being posted anywhere.
Now Spain’s Ministry of Defence has decided not to wait any longer for a final ruling and has cancelled his contract. He had signed up to serve until he was 45.
If the Supreme Court decides to acquit Cabezuelo, he could reapply for army service.
The 18-year-old woman had originally made a complaint of rape. But in their judgment the magistrates said the men had not used enough violence for it to be considered rape.
The case has led to calls for changes to Spain’s criminal code.
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