Global Courant 2023-05-19 14:01:10
It is an unprecedented ruling that establishes jurisprudence for a crime of the 2.0 era and increasingly widespread: grooming. A man who harassed a teenager on social media was convicted of “simple sexual assault.” The decision was made by a Buenos Aires judge who sentenced the culprit to a suspended year in prison.
The cyberbullying case occurred between January 24 and 31, 2021 in the City of Buenos Aires. The victim was 17 years old, while the defendant was 23. The first contact between the two occurred through Instagram.
Through the chat, an exchange of erotic photos and videos began between the two.
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However, a few days later that changed. The victim decided to terminate the exchange of sexual content through messages.
This gave way to a situation in which the defendant’s conduct changed: he began to threaten the adolescent to force her to continue sending images, where, at a minimum, the victim touched herself with sexual content.
A judge modified the criminal figure from “grooming” to “simple sexual abuse” in the case that had a teenager as a victim. Photo Shutterstock.
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“You never complied, now comply, because it’s going to get worse, I’m going to make you regret not having paid attention to me (…) it’s your problem, not mine, 10 min, if you go beyond that by not answering my messages , punishment, so that you learn to be an obedient whore, the pain will help you”, the now sentenced man threatened the 17-year-old girl.
“That punishment is that a relative of yours finds out,” he insisted.
The tone of the messages was getting worse: “I have everyone’s Insta, from the dance class (…) call and I forgive you or I’ll tell your mom, dad, cousin (…) I’m going to post the videos you passed me on Instagram for your friends to see (…) I have you in my hands.”
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Such was the pressure of the defendant against the adolescent that at one point the victim decided to tell her parents everything. Her father was the one who decided to appear before the Justice and make the complaint. He made his daughter’s cell phone and 57 screenshots available to investigators.
With all the evidence gathered, the prosecution proposed to the defendant to agree to an abbreviated trial, which implies acknowledging responsibility for the crime. The classification of the event – agreed between the parties – was cybersexual harassment against children and adolescents (grooming), as expressed in article 131 of the Penal Code.
But for the agreement and the penalty to be affirmed, the process demands the approval of a judge.
On this occasion, the person in charge was the magistrate of the Criminal, Misdemeanor and Misdemeanors Court No. 15 of the City of Buenos Aires, Karina Andrade. Unlike the prosecution and the parties, the judge did not approve the classification of “grooming” for the case, and modified it for “simple sexual abuse under the modality of coercive abuse.”
Andrade stated that the conduct exceeded the threats and extortion typical of the grooming figure. And that the only figure that can classify the actions of the defendant is that of sexual abuse, beyond the fact that electronic media intervened in the aforementioned act.
The court file clearly states: “Sexual crimes are not crimes committed by one’s own hand, but dominance over the victim.” The behavior entered into what that authority identifies as “sextortion.”
A judge modified the criminal figure from “grooming” to “simple sexual abuse” in the case that had a teenager as a victim.
“It is necessary that conduct proper to the crime of grooming, which concerns conduct whose purpose is the commission of a sexual crime, not be confused with conduct where the sexual crime was actually consummated. That is what has happened here,” the magistrate emphasized in the document.
After these facts were revealed in the indictment, the defendant himself acknowledged them.
Article 131 of the Criminal Code, to which the prosecution referred to to qualify the conduct of the accused, establishes that the crime is punishable by imprisonment from six (6) months to four (4) years.
In this case, the prosecution understood that it was appropriate to apply a sentence of one year in prison with a suspended sentence. The parties involved in the judicial process agreed with the penalty established for the crime committed by the defendant.
The evidence supports the final decision, since the abuse was verified with the captures and records in which the exchange of coercive messages is seen; Likewise, the sending of image and video files in compliance with the coercion was proven.
The judge endorsed the sentence established against the defendant, but added the order that he comply with the extraction of biological samples to be stored in the National Registry of Genetic Data linked to crimes against sexual integrity.