Rape victim asked by judge if she tried 'closing her legs' in Spain

The judge has also asked if the woman 'closed her female organs'

Jess Staufenberg
Wednesday 09 March 2016 09:26 GMT
One in five women in Spain are believed to be victims of assault
One in five women in Spain are believed to be victims of assault

A judge who allegedly asked a rape victim whether she had tried "closing her legs" is the subject of a campaign to have her suspended.

Judge Maria del Carmen Molina Mansilla, in the Basque Country in Spain, has been accused of "offensive questioning" of a woman who was describing how she was sexually and physically abuse.

In response, the Clara Camoamor Association, a campaign group for victims of gender crime, has claimed the judge's remarks showed a clear prejudice towards disbelieving the victim.

"She showed obvious disbelief of the testimony of the victim, questioned her without allowing her to answer, asking leading and offensive questions," Blance Estrella Ruiz of the Clara Campoamor Association said, according to The Local.

The unnamed woman arrived at her local police station in Vitoria to make a complaint that a man repeatedly abused her sexually and physically.

When she made a statement, Judge Mansilla reportedly asked her: "Did you close your legs and all your female organs?"

Ms Ruiz, whose group is now seeking for the judge to be suspended, said the incident was not the first time that the judge had appeared to make light of a victim's allegations.

"Such questions are not only unnecessary to the investigation but are completely offensive and violate the dignity of the victim," she said, according to The Local.

"Unfortunately this is not an isolated act but such behaviour [by this judge] is habitual and continuous."

The Clara Camoamor Association has asked the General Council of the Judiciary, which reviews the independence of judges in Spain, to suspend the judge - the matter is ongoing.

Officials at the Juzgado de Violencia sobre la Mujer Vittoria (Court of Violence against Women ) told The Independent that the judge will not be commenting on the matter.

Spain has one of the lowest rates of victim assault in Europe, yet the problem remains serious with one in five women believed to be victims of assault.

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