Sexual Assault

The crime of sexual assault is regulated in article 178 of the Penal Code, within the title of crimes against sexual freedom. This particular crime has recently been amended by the 10/2022 law, which removes the sexual abuse crime and includes its conduct within the sexual assault crime.

Now, the conduct punishable under this article is any conduct that infringes on the sexual freedom of another person without their consent. By consent, the Penal Code means free expression by acts which, in view of the circumstances of the case, clearly express the will of the person. In any case, these will be considered to be those carried out with violence, intimidation, abuse of a situation of superiority or vulnerability of the victim, and those carried out on persons deprived of their senses or whose will is nullified or whose mental situation is abused. The penalty for committing this crime ranges from one to five years in prison.

However, when the sexual assault consists of carnal access by vaginal, anal or oral means, or the introduction of bodily members or objects by either of the first two means, the offender will be punished with four to twelve years of prison, according to article 179 of the Penal Code.

In addition, there are some aggravating circumstances like the committal of sexual assault by two or more persons, committing it by acts of extremely serious violence or acts that are of a particularly degrading or humiliating nature, committing it against a person who is in a situation of particular vulnerability due to age, illness, disability or any other circumstance; when the victim is or has been a wife or a woman who is or has been in an analogous relationship of affection; when during the execution of the crime the person responsible has taken advantage of a situation or relationship of cohabitation, kinship or superiority in relation to the victim, when the perpetrator makes use of weapons or other equally dangerous means and when, in order to commit these acts, the person responsible has overridden the will of the victim by supplying him/her with drugs, medicines or any other natural or chemical substance suitable for this purpose.