The Supreme Court (TS) has dismissed the appeal of a man who sought to reduce the sentence of 15 years in prison he received for raping a minor, whom he led to believe that he was looking for a housekeeper, alleging that he suffers from an emotional disorder. personality, although the TS has recalled that this pathology by itself is not enough to achieve an automatic reduction in sentence, reasoning that the opposite would mean giving a “blank check” for committing a crime.
The facts date back to August 2016, when the man contacted a young woman, then 15 years old, through an advertisements website, who was looking for a job as a housekeeper. She, believing that he could hire her, agreed to have an interview at a train station. The convicted person picked her up there by car, telling her that they had to go to a nearby town where an elderly couple interested in her services lived.
Thus, he got into the car with him and, at one point, he stopped him in a field, closed the doors and raped her before throwing her out of the vehicle and keeping her bag and belongings, valued at 156 euros.
The Provincial Court of Barcelona imposed a 15-year prison sentence on him in November 2021 for sexual assault and a three-month fine for a misappropriation misdemeanora sentence that was first confirmed by the Superior Court of Justice (TSJ) of Catalonia in February 2022 and later by the TS with this ruling, to which Europa Press has had access.
The man argued in his successive appeals that the extenuating circumstance of the Article 21.1 of the Penal Code for Mental illnesssince, as he maintained, he suffered a sports accident that caused him “traumatic brain injuries” with “cognitive, emotional and behavioral repercussions” that generate “disinhibition and lack of impulse control.”
The Second Chamber rejects the application of this incomplete defense, recalling that, according to the doctrine of the Supreme Court itself, suffering a personality disorder only allows the penalty to be mitigated when it is accompanied by “a previous relevant pathology that determines this mental alteration in the subject with loss of conscience and will at the time of the facts”.
Otherwise, the magistrates explain, “any person who could have it due to circumstances in their life would be like claiming possession of a blank check or letter so that when a crime is committed, an automatic reduction of the sentence for the existence of this personality disorder”.
They add that “an important sector of the doctrine has demanded that in cases of psychopathy, or serious personality disorders associated with other serious pathologies, the type of crime must be related to the type of psychopathy to modify the imputability” , so that “the psychopath’s character abnormality must be in a causal relationship with the criminal act.”
In addition, the Supreme Court emphasizes that the TSJ, when rejecting the man’s appeal, highlighted that, although he alleges problems to control impulses, the truth is that there was a “planning” of the crime, since he searched for web pages, contacted the minor deceiving her with a false job offer and took her to a field with another excuse.
To this the TSJ added that the man declared “coldly” during the trial that he “did not remember the facts for which he was being accused” because “he had an accident previously according to which he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage that deprives him of memories”, but the expert reports of the forensic doctors state that he “remembered everything”.
Likewise, the TSJ stressed that, according to these forensic doctors, his “cognitive and collective capacities are fully preserved and he has had extramarital relationships with other women.”
Finally, the Supreme Court makes a brief mention of what is known as ‘law of only yes is yes‘ to explain that in this specific case, as the maximum sentence was imposed, “there is no debate whatsoever regarding any possible reduction in sentence.”