‘THE WOLF PACK’: Court rules ‘La Manada’ men can remain on bail ahead of sex assault appeal

Image of a hepatitis cell. Credit: Creative Commons

A NAVARRA court has upheld a decision to bail five men cleared of rape but convicted of sexual assault last year ahead of Supreme Court appeal hearings.

Judges at the Second Section of Navarra Provincial Court voted two to one to allow the men, dubbed ‘La Manada’ (The Wolf Pack in English), to remain on bail.

It comes ahead of an appeal against sentences of nine years for the men filed after the Provincial Court convicted them of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old woman. The assault took place during Pamplona’s San Fermin Running of the Bulls festival in 2016.

The latest ruling follows an appeal lodged by the victim, Pamplona City Council and Navarra’s regional authority against a previous decision to bail them ahead of Supreme Court hearings. The Supreme Court is expected to hear the case next year at the earliest, according to judicial sources.

Protests were held across Spain last year after the decision to clear Alfonso Cabezuelo, Angel Boza, Antonio Manuel Guerrero, Jesus Escudero and Jose Angel Prenda of raping the woman.

The court ruled the five men had not used violence or intimidation to subdue the 18-year-old after leading her into the basement of a block of flats in Pamplona. A sexual assault is classed as a rape under Spanish law if violence or intimidation is used.

Feminist groups claimed the ruling was a sign of institutionalised sexism in Spain’s legal system.

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