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In Spain, thousands protest new verdict on group sex attack

MADRID (AP) — Thousands of Spaniards have taken to the streets demanding changes in the country's criminal law, following a ruling on a sex assault case that was widely criticized as denying victims fair treatment.

Monday's protests across Spain come after five men accused of gang-raping an unconscious 14-year-old were sentenced to between 10 and 12 years behind bars for the lesser offense of sexual abuse. The Barcelona-based court found that because the victim had drunk alcohol and smoked marijuana, the men were able to have sex without the use of violence or intimidation — required under Spanish law for the crime to qualify as rape.

The case has similarities with a 2016 gang rape that sparked massive protests before the Supreme Court extended the prison terms from nine to 15 years.

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