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Spain: Convicted sex attackers stay free ahead of appeal

January 3, 2019

MADRID (AP) — A Spanish court has ruled that five men sentenced to nine years in prison for sexually attacking an 18-year-old woman should remain free on bail while the Supreme Court considers appeals in the case.

The Navarra provincial court said in its decision Thursday the men have complied with bail terms set last year, following a conviction that triggered widespread outrage because judges acquitted them of gang rape.

Women’s rights advocates have expressed anger about what they see as the court’s leniency. The public prosecutor, the victim and regional authorities have appealed to the Supreme Court for a heavier prison sentence and wanted the men kept behind bars until a ruling.

Prosecutors said the men boasted about the 2016 attack on a WhatsApp group named “La Manada,” or “the animal pack.”

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