Crime

Judge Declares Rape Legal If Not Sexually Motivated

| by David Bonner

In a Mexican court, a judge decided that rape is not rape if the rapist was not sexually satisfied.

On April 20, Judge Anuar Gonzalez Hemadi dismissed rape charges against Diego Cruz, 21, who allegedly forced 17-year-old Daphne Fernandez into a car on Jan. 1, 2015, then sexually assaulted her with three of his friends, reports The Washington Post.

The Guardian reports that one of the attackers is the son of a local politician with allies in the state government, according to Daphne's family.

Hemadi ruled that Cruz should not be punished because "an incidental touching or fondling will not be considered sexual acts, if proof is not presented that it was done to satisfy a sexual desire."

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Hemadi admitted that Cruz "touched the minor," but "did not intend to reach a vaginal, anal, or oral intercourse," as quoted by RT, citing the Mexican news website Presencia.

He also declared that "testimony from the minor doesn’t provide any indications -- that is, an insinuation, obscene word, proximity, situation -- that the [defendant’s] conduct was deliberate sexual abuse with erotic intentions or meant to satisfy sexual urges. ... Touching or incidental rubbing, be it in a public or private place, would not be considered a sexual act, if the element of intent to satisfy a sexual desire at the expense of the passive subject is absent. ... It is possible to consider that there was no purpose to copulate."

Hemadi's decision has created a sensation in the Mexican media coverage, and protests across the country.

Reacting to the verdict, Daphne's father, Javier Fernandez, said that "with this legal protection anybody would be able to touch a young girl without penal consequences. ... It’s inconceivable. I am surprised and angry. Two years of fighting, battling, of rowing against the current so that they conclude this. They got away with the arrest order and now they are giving him legal protection two years later. This is a joke, it’s absurd."

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The Network for Children’s Rights in Mexico also called Hemadi's decision "absurd," issuing a statement that "this ruling represents a serious step backward in the access to justice for girls and adolescent women who are victims of sexual violence, and set a precedent for impunity."

Judicial authorities in Mexico agreed, and on April 12 it was announced that Hemadi had been suspended and would be investigated. According to the Federal Judiciary Council, Cruz will remain in jail while the appeal is decided.

In February of 2016, Daphne posted a statement about the case on her Facebook page, as quoted by The Guardian:
"I’m not hiding. I’m not saying anything but the truth. I have nothing to repent. I’ve gone drinking. I’ve gone to parties. I’ve worn short skirts like many girls my age ... and for that I’m going to be judged? For that I deserved what happened?"

Sources: The Washington Post, RT, The Guardian / Photo credit: Pixabay

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