In Spain, thousands protest new verdict on group sex attack

Women shout outside the Justice Ministry in Madrid, Spain, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. Thousands in Spain are demonstrating to demand changes in criminal la...
A woman holds up her hands outside the Justice Ministry in Madrid, Spain, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. Thousands in Spain are demonstrating to demand changes...
Women shout outside the Justice Ministry in Madrid, Spain, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. Thousands in Spain are demonstrating to demand changes in criminal la...
Women shout outside the Justice Ministry in Madrid, Spain, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. Thousands in Spain are demonstrating to demand changes in criminal la...
Protesters shout outside the Justice Ministry in Madrid, Spain, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. Thousands in Spain are demonstrating to demand changes in crimin...

Women shout outside the Justice Ministry in Madrid, Spain, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. Thousands in Spain are demonstrating to demand changes in criminal la...

A woman holds up her hands outside the Justice Ministry in Madrid, Spain, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. Thousands in Spain are demonstrating to demand changes...

Women shout outside the Justice Ministry in Madrid, Spain, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. Thousands in Spain are demonstrating to demand changes in criminal la...

Women shout outside the Justice Ministry in Madrid, Spain, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. Thousands in Spain are demonstrating to demand changes in criminal la...

Protesters shout outside the Justice Ministry in Madrid, Spain, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. Thousands in Spain are demonstrating to demand changes in crimin...

MADRID (AP) — Thousands of Spaniards have taken to the streets demanding changes in the country's criminal law, following a ruling on a sex assault case that was widely criticized as denying victims fair treatment.

Monday's protests across Spain come after five men accused of gang-raping an unconscious 14-year-old were sentenced to between 10 and 12 years behind bars for the lesser offense of sexual abuse.

The Barcelona-based court found that because the victim had drunk alcohol and smoked marijuana, the men were able to have sex without the use of violence or intimidation — required under Spanish law for the crime to qualify as rape.

The case has similarities with a 2016 gang rape that sparked massive protests before the Supreme Court extended the prison terms from nine to 15 years.