All minors identified so far as possible authors of the images of naked girls in Almendralejo (Badajoz) or who have allegedly participated in their distribution are under 14 years of age and, therefore, not criminally liable. Police sources confirm that the agents have already identified 11 adolescents between 12 and 13 years old, of whom three allegedly managed the application through which the artificial images were created and another eight were part of the chat in which they were distributed. those photos.
The investigation continues in the hands of the National Police, which already has evidence of at least 20 victims. The intervention of the Prosecutor’s Office will occur when it receives the police report, but the computer crime and juvenile units are already collecting data to act when necessary. The age of the minors identified so far by the police closes the door to being able to hold the perpetrators criminally responsible. However, neither the police nor the public ministry rule out that more people may be involved, both those under 14 years of age and some over that age. In the latter case, criminal action could be taken.
Prosecutor’s sources indicate that, until the images and the intervention of each person involved are analyzed, it is not possible to determine what crimes may have been committed. However, the public ministry is initially exploring four types. For the first two to occur, production or distribution of pornographic material (article 189.1b of the Penal Code) and possession of child pornography (189.5), the Penal Code requires that the images show an explicit sexual act in which a minor or the minor’s sexual organs are seen “for primarily sexual purposes.” There could also be a crime against the moral integrity of minors (article 173) or one against privacy (197) in the event that the image of the girls’ faces has been obtained by invading their privacy (for example, through photos taken in a private space or taken from their private profiles on social networks).
For minors under 14 years of age, although the public ministry cannot act criminally, it can do so in matters of protection. In these cases, the Prosecutor’s Office usually opens criminal proceedings, but these are immediately filed and the case passes to the scope of the Child Protection Prosecutor’s Office. The researchers conduct a study of the adolescent’s situation and, after interviewing him and his family, decide what type of resource he needs and adapts to his behavior. As a general rule, the minor is referred to one of the socio-educational programs that the autonomous communities have.
The latest reform of the law on the legal protection of minors introduces a specific article, 17 bis, for “persons under fourteen years of age in conflict with the law.” This precept establishes that adolescents will be included “in a monitoring plan that assesses their socio-family situation designed and carried out by the competent social services of each autonomous community.” And he adds: “If the violent act could constitute a crime against sexual freedom or indemnity or gender violence, the monitoring plan must include a training module on gender equality.”
Added to the police investigation is the intervention of the Spanish Data Protection Agency, which has opened preliminary investigation actions and, in parallel, has contacted both the Almendralejo City Council and the Extremadura Regional Government to disseminate information about You can request the removal of images published on the Internet through the agency’s priority channel, as sources from this organization have confirmed to Efe. This channel was launched in 2019 and allows, in the event that someone uploads sexual or violent content without the consent of the person who appears in the images, to request its removal. Last year, in fact, 51 emergency interventions were carried out to remove information, videos or audios of this nature that had been published without permission.
“I’ve seen a naked photo of you.”
The events that occurred in Almendralejo began to come to light last week, with the start of the school year. Isabel, 14 years old, went to her school on Tuesday with the hope of a new school year. That morning, after entering the patio, a rumor spread from group to group. There was nothing else talked about among the students. The majority commented that there were photos of naked students circulating on cell phones. Isabel, who hides her real name at the express wish of her mother, then went out to recess with her friends. All in a state of shock. Suddenly, a boy approached her in the middle of the patio:
—I’ve seen a naked photo of you.
The young woman was scared. At noon, when she returned home, the first thing she did was inform her mother. “Mom, they say there’s a naked photo of me hanging around. That they have done it through an artificial intelligence application. I’m afraid. There are also girls who have received it.” Sara C., her 44-year-old mother, then contacted the mother of her daughter’s best friend, who had also just informed her family of what had happened. After the conversation, the mothers begin to make calls. The case had just exploded.
Now, seven days later, what is known is that a group of kids from the municipality captured the photos of the Instagram and WhatsApp profiles of at least 20 girls from the town and even, according to the mother of one of the minors, affected, they photographed another during a volleyball training session in a municipal pavilion and then uploaded all these images to an artificial intelligence application. And so, in a few seconds, create fictitious images that simulate a real nude of girls. Someone later created a video with images of seven of them. The mothers have organized themselves in a WhatsApp chat and there are already 27 members. Not all of them have seen photos of their daughters, but they have been told that they exist. There has even been a case of extortion of a minor with a snapshot through a fake Instagram profile. The mother of this girl is Fátima G., 30 years old. Her daughter is 12. Fátima found out about the case last Wednesday night, around 10:00 p.m., when a mother of her daughter’s friend called her on the phone and told her that she had seen a photo of her daughter naked. her. “It’s a setup,” she said.
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