Barcelona prosecutors to appeal court’s ruling in sex case

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A woman holds up her hands outside the Justice Ministry in Madrid, Spain, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. Thousands in Spain are demonstrating to demand changes in criminal laws and the country’s judiciary after a new ruling on a sex assault case revived the debate over the fair treatment of victims. Monday’s protests come after five men accused of gang raping an unconscious 14-year-old three years ago were sentenced between 10 to 12 years behind bars for sexual abuse instead of assault or rape.(AP Photo/Paul White)

MADRID (AP) — The prosecutor’s office in Barcelona says it has decided to appeal a court’s ruling in a sex-crime case involving an unconscious teenager.

The case triggered an outcry in Spain after the court last week convicted five men of the lesser crime of sexual abuse instead of sexual assault or rape, sentencing them to up to 12 years in prison.

Prosecutors accused them of gang-raping the 14-year-old girl.

The court ruled that because she was intoxicated, the men were able to have sex with her without using violence or intimidation — acts required under Spanish law for a crime to be considered sexual assault.

It’s the latest case to fuel anger over how Spain’s legal system treats victims.

The Barcelona prosecutor’s office announced in a short statement Wednesday that it would appeal.

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