March 31 (UPI) — Mexico’s Federal Judicial Council has suspended Judge Anuar González Hemadi after he ruled a suspect should be freed in a sexual assault case because he did not have sexual intent.
Diego Gabriel Cruz Alonso is one of four young men accused of forcing a 17-year-old into a car at a New Year’s party on January 1, 2015, in the city of Veracruz. The men allegedly sexually assaulted and raped her in the city of Boca del Rio.
González ruled on Monday that Cruz Alonso should be immediately released because, though he had touched the victim and penetrated her with his fingers, he did so without sexual intent. González said Cruz Alonso’s part in the incident did not amount to sexual assault because the victim’s testimony did not prove Cruz Alonso’s “conduct was deliberate sexual abuse with erotic intentions or meant to satisfy sexual urges.”
González said Cruz Alonso, 21, who is from a wealthy family, used his hands and fingers but “without performing another type of act.” González said there was no indication Cruz Alonso intended to have sexual intercourse.
“Touching or incidental rubbing, be it in a public or private place, would not be considered a sexual act, if the element of intent to satisfy a sexual desire at the expense of the passive subject is absent,” González said in his ruling. “It is possible to consider that there was no purpose to copulate.”
González’s ruling generated outrage throughout Mexico. The victim’s father said the judge’s ruling was “inconceivable.”
“I am surprised and angry. Two years of fighting, battling, of rowing against the current so that they conclude this … they are giving him legal protection two years later. This is a joke, it’s absurd,” he said.
Cruz Alonso will remain in custody pending an appeal by prosecutors. The Federal Judicial Council, or CJF, on Wednesday suspended González amid an investigation.
“The suspension is for the time necessary to carry out said investigation, which shall include an extraordinary visit to the court,” the CJF said in a statement. “Likewise, this judicial body stresses that the ruling issued … may still be subject to review by a Collegiate Circuit Court, and does not imply the freedom of the petitioner.”