Protests in Spain after 5 men are cleared of rape in 'wolf pack' case

A woman protests Thursday in Alicante, Spain, with a placard that reads: "It is not abuse, it is rape."

(CNN)Protests were held across Spain after five men were convicted of sexual abuse but cleared of the gang rape of a teenage girl during the Running of the Bulls festival in Pamplona two years ago.

Large crowds marched in cities, including Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Pamplona and Alicante, after a court decision Thursday afternoon in Pamplona.
Many protesters held placards declaring: "It is not abuse, it is rape." Some added the hashtag "patriarchal justice."
The court in northern Spain's Navarre region said the five men had been sentenced to nine years for "a continued crime of sexual abuse," a lesser offense under Spanish law than the gang rape of which they were accused.
    Amid the furor, the official spokesman for Spain's government said Friday that it would "revise whether the law regarding these crimes (sexual crimes) needs to be updated."
    Prosecutors had sought 22 years for each defendant on the more serious charge, according to Spain's El Mundo newspaper. The case became known as "la manada," or "the wolf pack," after the name of a WhatsApp group on which the defendants and other friends chatted.
    Women take part in a demonstration Thursday in Málaga, Spain, against the sexual abuse of women.
    The men -- José Ángel Prenda, Antonio Manuel Guerrero, Ángel Boza, Alfonso Jesús Cabezuelo and Jesús Escudero -- recorded cell phone video of their encounter in July 2016 with the girl, then 18, during Pamplona's famous San Fermín festival.
    According to court documents, WhatsApp messages circulated to the group by one of the defendants included "us five are ****ing one girl," "there is more than what I'm telling you," "a ***ing amazing trip" and "there is video."
    The court heard that the men, who denied wrongdoing, "pushed" the girl into a deserted hallway and told her to "shut up" before all engaging in sexual activity with her. She "adopted a passive, submissive stance" because she felt trapped and afraid, according to the sentencing document. One of the men took her phone from her bag before they left her there.
    The case has shone a spotlight on Spanish law, under which the lesser offense of sexual abuse differs from rape in that it does not involve violenc