Santiago, Jul 28 (EFE).- A man accused of raping and abusing six women between 2010 and 2019 was sentenced Friday to 17 years in prison by a court in the southern Chilean city of Temuco.
Prosecutors had sought a sentence of more than 40 years for 31-year-old Martin Pradenas, convicted on two counts of rape and five counts of sexual battery.
It was the second trial in the case, as Chile’s Supreme Court threw out an earlier conviction last December, accepting the defense’s argument that one of the judges made comments on social media indicating bias against the defendant.
Minutes after the first verdict was overturned, members of feminist organizations gathered outside the chamber and chanted, “Supreme Court, national disgrace.”
The case came to public attention in 2019 with the suicide of one of the victims, 20-year-old university student Antonia Barra, three weeks after Pradenas raped her.
Barra told former boyfriend Rodrigo Canario about the rape on Oct. 12, 2019, but instead of offering support, Rodrigo insulted Antonia for getting “mixed up” with Pradenas and subsequently posted online a recording of their conversation without her knowledge or consent.
Pradenas responded to the online post by harassing Barra, who was found dead inside the family home on Oct. 13 by her grandmother and younger sister.
The family learned about the rape from messages on Antonia’s phone.
“No sentence is going to ease for us the tremendous pain of having lost our beautiful daughter,” Alejandro Barra said Friday.
The furor surrounding the case led to the passage and enactment of legislation known as the “Antonia Law,” which makes it an offense for the author of a sexual offense against a woman to induce that woman to take her own life. EFE ssb/dr