“You put a lot on me and it went away”: the confession of a rape by WhatsApp

On the morning of April 20, 2019, Mireia phoned Joan G. She asked him, crying, to please pick her up, that she was very ill. She sent him her location. “They tried to fuck me,” she repeated anxiously the young woman, who was then 18 years old, when she saw him. Joan took her to her house, made her stretch out on the couch, and offered her some ibuprofen. Somewhat calmer, Mireia told him what had just happened: Martí B., a good friend with whom she had shared so many happy summers in Sant Feliu de Guíxols (Girona) and with whom she had gone out that night out, not that the would have “tried to fuck”, is that he had just raped her, he clarified.

Joan had an idea and executed it with Mireia’s consent, the same consent that the young woman had verbally and physically denied her attacker just a few hours before. They wanted Martí to confess.

Joan pretending to be Mireia

You went too far, I think I deserve an apology.

Mireia

I understand that you were drunk, but that is not done and less to me. You know.

Marti

Sorry. You forgive me?

In the exchange of messages on WhatsApp, Martí tries to justify his behavior, pursues a glimmer of innocence, seeks reasons for acquittal. She reminds him of an allegedly raunchy conversation (which she denies) in the women’s toilets of the ZSA nightclub in Platja d’Aro (Girona). In the room they had danced until five in the morning with mutual friends. Then, like so many times, they returned together in a taxi. Mireia stayed to sleep at her friend’s house in Sant Feliu so as not to disturb the relatives who had stayed the night at her family’s summer house in the same town.

Interpreting the role of Mireia and her written expression at all times, Joan tries to extract from the aggressor a sign of repentance, a phrase in which he accepts what he did, perhaps a test (it will be) before a future trial. The conversation they have is a practical example of where the limits of consent are and about “no means no”.

Mireia

If at the time you didn’t want to, I don’t know why you had to do it.

Marti

Already. Already. I have no right

Marti

You put a lot on me and it went away. go cloth

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The young man, who is then 19 years old (one older than Mireia), has just unknowingly dug his own judicial grave.

In a sentence to which EL PAÍS has agreed, the Court of Girona has sentenced Martí to nine and a half years in prison for a completed and attempted sexual assault, in addition to paying compensation of 15,000 euros to the victim ―defended by the lawyer Judit Gené―for moral damages. The court concludes that the conversation, for which the defendant was unable to give any credible explanation at trial (he said that he had been misunderstood, without further ado) “clearly corroborates” the victim’s account.

The WhatsApp They are an essential reinforcement of the main evidence for the case: the “credible, sincere and spontaneous” testimony of the young woman, who has remained stable since that morning when she told her friend Joan everything until she remembered it again , trembling and between tears, in the trial.

Martí and Mireia “maintained a close relationship of friendship and trust,” as both admitted. That’s why the girl stayed to sleep at her house. That’s why she didn’t see anything strange in the fact that the young man locked the door. That’s why she didn’t care that he offered to charge her cell phone. That relationship forged summer by summer broke suddenly when Martí appeared in the guest room in his underpants, lay down on the bed next to the girl and began kissing her neck, violently touching her breasts, caressing her vulva. Martí turned her around abruptly, pressed her face against her mattress and immobilized her arms while he tried to separate her legs. Her resistance made him stop and he went to sleep. Mira remained motionless. She felt, as she stated, “stuck” and “trapped” remembering that the keys were in the ignition.

At 10 o’clock the mobile phone alarm sounded. Martí got up in the dining room to turn it off and returned to the room with more desire for sex and a more aggressive attitude. “What an ass you have, you don’t need to do anything, I’ll do everything for you”, he told her while she kept closing her legs until he couldn’t take it anymore. The young man managed to overcome the opposition and penetrated it. The court concluded that there was violence and intimidation, typical of sexual assault, and that “heroic acts of resistance that endanger her physical integrity” cannot be required of a victim.

At trial, the defendant said that the relationships had been consensual and that Mireia, who is now studying Law, invented everything to get “more attention from her parents”: according to her story, she had felt “displaced” in the face of an alleged problem of his sister, who has recently been proclaimed champion of Spain in a type of figure skating on wheels. The court emphasizes that Martí did not say anything of that during three years of investigation of the case and that his thesis is not supported.

Quite the opposite of Mireia’s story, who after being attacked asked the boy – who was “calm” and “as if nothing had happened” – to open the door of the house for her. She told him that he had to go to a family meal. As soon as she left, she called his friend Joan. At the oral hearing, the girl says that she acted that way because she remembered that her mother had told her on one occasion that, in aggressive situations, she had to be friendly to get away with it. The girl also described how “overwhelming and unbearable” she felt “Martí’s breathing” behind her. Some “unexpected or external” details, which, according to the ruling – which appeals to theories on the psychology of testimony – are signs of credibility in the victim’s story.

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