Protests in Spain over sex case; 5 suspects at home on bail

June 23, 2018
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Women wearing red gloves while protesting at Plaza del Ayuntamiento square after three of five men granted bail after being acquitted of gang rape leave Pamplona's penitentiary, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Friday, June 22, 2018. Spanish prosecutors are filing an appeal against a court decision granting bail to five men acquitted of gang rape and convicted instead of sexual abuse, a lesser felony. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

MADRID (AP) — Five Spanish men whose acquittal of gang rape charges and conviction on a lesser felony caused widespread outrage are back at home while a court considers their appeals against their nine-year prison sentences.

Agustin Martinez, the lawyer for four of the men, tells Spanish news agency Europa Press on Saturday that the five are back in Seville, their home city, after being granted bail and leaving prison.

Their release Friday, like their sexual abuse conviction last April, prompted protest marches in about two dozen Spanish cities. Women’s rights advocates are angry about what they see as the court’s leniency in the case.

An 18-year-old woman said the men attacked her in 2016. Prosecutors said the men boasted about the attack on a WhatsApp group named “La Manada,” or “The (animal) Pack.”

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