Story By: Juan Mayes, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport
The three Spanish footballers found guilty of raping a 15-year-old girl and sentenced to 38 years in prison each claim they are innocent and that the victim is lying.
Footballers Carlos Cuadrado, 24, Victor Rodriguez, 22, and Raul Calvo, 19, were all arrested when they were playing for Spanish third-tier side Arandina CF together and have now been found guilty of raping a 15-year-old girl by the Burgos Provincial Court in the northern Spanish city of Burgos.
The three footballers spoke with local media after hearing their sentence of 38 years in prison each and staunchly defend their innocence.
Cuadrado said: “We are not rapists, what we are, are naive guys and they are trying to f*ck our lives.
“Aside from harassment, it is shameful that a case with over 8,000 pages has a sentence in two weeks.”
Calvo’s attorney seemingly agreed with the statement saying the sentence was a “social sentence” calling it “incongruent” adding that “the minor is continuously lying, I find it shameful.”
Cuadrado went on to say: “Now is when things will start to get leaked. The messages she sent to her friends saying ‘Nobody has raped me’, ‘It was not rape’, ‘I am going to start lying more’.
“I will always fight for women’s equal rights but I think at this moment people are trying to screw us in a lot of different ways.”
Calvo seemingly incredulous said: “I cannot believe anything that is happening right now. I do not understand this.
Rodriguez said: “This is shameful. I want them to bring me proof. When they bring proof, then they can sentence me for real.
“Then I will go to prison and pay for my crime but if I have not done anything, I will not go to prison. Who made this sentence, I want to know, I want them to explain it to me. This does not make any sense.”
Local media report Rodriguez is now a fruit vendor and Calvo works in construction as both were not able to find a club after the rape case became public.
Cuadrado is the only one of the three who continued to play football after he was signed by fourth-tier Spanish club Atletico Bembibrebut he has since been released.
When speaking about the possibility to appeal the decision, Cuadrado said “we are going to appeal” adding that the sentence is “unfair”.
The three footballers were found to have sexually assaulted the underage girl at their flat in the town of Aranda de Duero in the Castile and Leon region of north-central Spain. According to local media, they committed the crime after she refused to have sex with them at the flat that they share.
The court heard the trio committed “sexual assault with carnal access to the mouth” of the young girl.
The sentence added that there was “the existence of environmental intimidation due to the fact that the three defendants acted on the victim, on their floor, with the light off and by surprise, without the minor being able to react, due to the difference in age and physical complexion of the accused.”
The trio was handed 14 years for the rape of a minor and 24 years for co-operating in the crimes of their co-conspirators. They must also pay the victim a total of 50,000 EUR (42,122 GBP) in damages.
The girl was reportedly receiving psychological treatment and had been travelling to Madrid every week with her parents to receive the treatment. It was during one of these sessions when she reportedly said three men had proposed having sex with her in their home.
She had reportedly said she “submitted” to them to “avoid worse evils”.
They were first arrested in December 2017 and the trial began on 21st November 2019 and the request for penalties was based on the jurisprudence created in the ‘Wolf Pack’ case.
In that case, the Spanish Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s decision to define the crime as sexual abuse and affirmed that the men were guilty of rape.
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