Controversy with law that redefined the crime of rape in Spain: 12 convicted with reduced sentences
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The controversy erupted last week with the reduction of sentences for 12 men already convicted of sexual abuse. The sexual freedoms law, known in Spain as the “only yes is yes” law, focuses on the absence of consent to determine the existence of a violation, does away with the difference between abuse and sexual assault, but seems to be having a effect contrary to that intended.

At issue is the new classification of crimes. Since the law came into force, any sexual offense is considered an assault, whether or not there has been explicit violence. The norm lowers the basic minimum penalties, but introduces a series of aggravating factors – superiority, kinship, physical violence, among others – which, if proven, increase the convictions. The problem appears in cases that have already been judged in which aggravating factors were not contemplated and which, therefore, are revised with the new penalties.

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