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Hollywood hits out at gang-rape acquittal: Jessica Chastain and Rose McGowan condemn 'lenient' sentence
TWO world-famous actresses have hit out at the court verdict which saw five members of a Sevilla street gang who raped an 18-year-old woman during Pamplona's Sanfermínes bull-running festival acquitted of rape and merely charged with sexual abuse, ending with a nine-year prison sentence rather than what would have been over 20 years.
Jessica Chastain (pictured), famous for her roles in Law & Order: Trial by Jury, Zero Dark Thirty and Molly's Game, and Rose McGowan, a model for GQ, Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone and star of Fifty Dead Men Walking and the Quentin Tarantino film Grindhouse, have both condemned the lenient sentence and the fact that the judges decided the five could not be guilty of 'rape' because they did not use 'physical violence'.
Golden Globe winner Jessica, 41, a known activist who has often spoken up about mental health, tweeted: “Five strangers told an intoxicated teenager that they would walk her to her car. Instead they took her to another location where they filmed [themselves] gang-raping her. Being motionless with her eyes closed doesn't equate [to] consent. That isn't sexual abuse. It's rape.”
In a second tweet, Ms Chastain wrote: “'Under Spanish law, the lesser offence of sexual abuse differs from rape in that it does not involve violence or intimidation'. No intimidation? Five strangers luring an intoxicated woman to an unknown location is incredibly scary and intimidating. How many women are killed each year?”
Rose, who was one of the key figures who confessed to being a victim led to the Harvey Weinstein sex abuse scandal going viral, starting the #MeToo movement, shared a link to one of the news stories about the protests this week all over Spain following the trial of the gang, known as 'La Manada' ('The Herd').
The Apple News headline read: “Protests have broken out after five men were found not guilty of gang rape in Spain.”
The Twitter hashtag #YoSíTeCreo ('I do believe you'), addressed to the unnamed rape victim – who is now 20 – has now gone viral in Spain and beyond, and Rose McGowan attempted to tag her own post with it, but incorrectly wrote #TeSeCreo.
But her intentions are fully behind the young victim, as are Jessica's and those of any woman in Hollywood or elsewhere who have suffered sexual abuse or rape.
The prosecution in Spain intends to appeal the verdict, since it was calling for sentences of over 20 years, and the association of female judges, THEMIS, says it has 'sent out a message of no hope' to women.
Photograph: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons
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