Court absolves GNR accused of sexual abuse

By Kim Schiffmann, in News · 10-02-2020 16:54:00 · 0 Comments

The Judicial Court of Guarda on 10 February acquitted a military officer from the GNR who was accused of a crime of sexual abuse of a woman, in the post of Celorico da Beira, in the district of Guarda.

According to the sentence, the defendant's conduct "does not meet the requirements of the crime" of which he was accused, hence his acquittal.

In reading the judgment, the judge of the collective said that "there is no doubt that acts of a sexual nature occurred", but, taking into account the way in which they occurred and the circumstances, it was not proved that the military had taken advantage of his functions to engage sexually with the woman, who was in preventive detention.

The panel of judges proved that the victim "moved forward on his own initiative" and did not conclude that she was used by the defendant.

According to the court ruling, "it has not been proven that the defendant has taken advantage of the condition of dominance", nor has he performed the acts "against the will of the victim".

Also according to the decision, the court "managed to detect a series of contradictions in the woman's statements".

She also listened to the statements of the inspectors of the PJ who described the woman's behaviour at the time she was being questioned as an accused - in the context of a drug trafficking case - and made an approach that she "would be willing to do everything possible" for the process to stop there.

The court considered, however, the defendant's attitudes "ethically objectionable", as "they are not attitudes that should be adopted while guarding, at the GNR premises".

The case reports on 24 February, 2019, when a woman detained by the PJ da Guarda complained of having been the victim of sexual abuse at the GNR post in Celorico da Beira by a military man, a professional who was arrested and the subject of disciplinary proceedings.

"On 24 February, the Criminal Investigation Department of PJ da Guarda handed over a 45-year-old woman to the Territorial Post of Celorico da Beira, in order to remain detained in those facilities. On the following day, the detainee formalized a criminal complaint in the premises of the PJ for, allegedly, having been the victim of sexual abuse, practiced by a military officer of the GNR, in the referred post", referred, at the time, a press note of the PJ and the GNR.

In the note, it was further explained that the GNR "proceeded to institute disciplinary proceedings, with the military being preventively transferred to another sub-unit of the Territorial Command of Guarda".

Taking into account the nature of the process, the trial, which started on 30 January, took place behind closed doors.


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