Adolescent “La Manada”

A group of five boys between 12 and 14 years old submitted a young girl to sexual abuse over a month, under threat of posting a nude photo of her

An abandoned factory in a Catalan town of 10,000 inhabitants was, for an entire month, the scene of a series of disturbing group sexual assaults perpetrated against a girl of 12, by a group of five boys between the ages of 12 and 14. The boys, some of whom were in her class, forced the girl’s participation by threatening to post a nude photo of her on the internet, or send it to her father. She was subjected to their will by way of simple text messages, like “to the factory, or the photo”. The case is being taken forward by the juvenile public prosecutors, as a crime of sexual assault with penetration against a minor under the age of 16. It came to police attention on June 4th of last year, when two of the victim’s friends, accompanied by one of their mothers, told the police what they had heard from the girl, and in one case, what they had witnessed. The police located the 12-year-old victim, and asked her to make a statement in the presence of her parents. The girl outlined a sordid account of a month of sexual abuse, blackmail and threats, which began when she and her two friends were forced by the boys to come to the abandoned warehouse and perform sex acts. Photographs from this day were used as blackmail over the course of the subsequent month, and further occurrences of sexual abuse took place at the factory, and even at one of the accused’s houses, where the victim was forced upstairs, with an air gun. All the boys have been identified by police, and those who are 14 are being charged and tried, and those who are only 12 years old have appeared as witnesses, confirming the victim’s account of continued sexual abuse, threats and blackmail.

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