A year in prison and €14,600 fine for sexually assaulting two women in Tenerife nightclub

  • Canarian Weekly
  • 08-07-2024
  • Tenerife
  • Photo Credit: Sample image
A year in prison and €14,600 fine for sexually assaulting two women in Tenerife nightclub

The Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands (TSJC) has upheld a ruling by the Provincial Court of Tenerife sentencing a man to one year and three months in prison and a €14,600 fine for sexually assaulting two women, one of whom was a minor (under 18), in a nightclub in the south of Tenerife.

The 43-year-old Italian man was convicted of two counts of sexual abuse and ordered to pay €1,000 to each victim, with the remaining amount serving as a fine.

The incident occurred in August 2022 between 3:30 and 4:30am, when the man, without the consent of the victims, touched one woman under her dress multiple times and penetrated the other with his fingers.

In his appeal to the TSJC, the defendant argued that the verdict was "irrational" and claimed there was no evidence against him. However, the court noted that the testimonies given during the trial were "comprehensive."

Three women testified during the trial: the two victims and a friend who was with them that night. They admitted to having consumed alcohol ‘moderately’ but denied being intoxicated, a statement corroborated by the police officer who arrived at the scene.

The officer described the women as "young, sensible, and reasonable," although he noted that one appeared "distressed and overwhelmed," which he attributed to the assault.

The defendant contended that the officer’s account was flawed due to the passage of time and that his height made it impossible for him to have committed the abuse. These arguments were dismissed by the court as lacking "any basis" and not warranting further comment.

The court also rejected the defence’s argument that poor lighting and the darkness in the nightclub led to a mistaken identity. Despite minor contradictions in the women's statements, all three unequivocally identified the defendant during the trial.

The defendant claimed that the minor remained passive despite being assaulted three times and did not react immediately. Instead, she waited 15 minutes before approaching a security guard. The court explained that the victim was in shock and unable to react, with her friend identifying the perpetrator, who was the only person present at the time.

The Provincial Court has suspended the prison sentence for three and a half years on the condition that the defendant neither approach nor communicate with the women, participate in a sexual education program, and complete 60 days of community service.