The Prosecutor’s Office does not believe that the Bruc soldiers were going to raffle off a prostitute and asks for the file of the case | Catalonia | The USA Print

The Prosecutor’s Office has asked the judge of the Barcelona Examining Court number 30 to close the open case against several soldiers from the Bruc barracks in Barcelona who were accused of raffling among several soldiers the services of a prostitute. The prosecutor’s office accepts the investigation carried out by the Army and concludes that “there was never a real intention to hire the services of any prostitute nor was any procedure carried out for it, but rather that the real and effective prize was a Christmas basket”.

In December 2022, the existence of a WhatsApp group made up of 70 soldiers became known in which the draw for the services of a “Lady of a company” was announced (as it appeared in the same message). When the raffle was made public, the draw was paralyzed, but the Chief of the Barcelona 63 Infantry Regiment commissioned an investigation of two high-ranking soldiers. The military interviewed the members of the messenger group, identified the two organizers of the raffle and prepared a report that they sent to the Prosecutor’s Office. While the report was being prepared, Defense Minister Margarita Robles pointed out that those responsible for the lottery should be expelled from the Armed Forces.

Prosecutor’s Office received the report from the Regiment Chief. The public prosecution considers that it is true that two soldiers proposed in the group to raffle off a prostitute and with the money from the ballots to cover the expenses of the Immaculate Conception, the patron saint of the Army. But, the Public Ministry also accepts the variables exposed in the internal report carried out among the Bruc commanders as good. First, he points out that WhatsApp is not official but -despite the fact that the raffle was suspended- he buys the version that the organizers never carried out procedures to hire a prostitute since they had no “real intention” to do so, but that the prize was a basket of Christmas.

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“Since there was no real and specific person in a situation of prostitution, the legal or jurisprudential requirements do not meet to understand that the facts could constitute any crime against prostitution (or inducement to prostitution, or trafficking in human beings or sexual exploitation). Nor can the existence of any hate speech be determined,” the public ministry said in a statement. For all these reasons, the Prosecutor’s Office has requested the file of the case “without prejudice to the disciplinary responsibilities that, if applicable, are imposed on those responsible.”

The 2014 Law on the Disciplinary Regime of the Armed Forces classifies as a very serious offense “performing, ordering or tolerating acts that affect the sexual freedom of people”. Very serious offenses can be punished, among other sanctions, with “separation from service” (loss of military status for professional soldiers) or “compromise resolution” (termination of contract for temporary soldiers); in both cases without the possibility of re-entry. The only authority with the capacity to expel a soldier from the Armed Forces is the Minister of Defense herself, according to the same law.

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