A court in Barcelona has acquitted five men accused of gang-raping a 14 year old girl of the charge of sexual assault.
The men were convicted and jailed for the lesser crime of sexual abuse.
The court ruled they had not committed rape because the victim was in an “unconscious state” and they did not need to use violence.
Under Spanish law, an offence can only be considered rape or sexual assault if physical force or intimidation is used.
But Thursday’s ruling, prompted women to take to social media to express their outrage and call for protests.
The mayor of Barcelona, described the ruling as an “outrageous” verdict which was the product of a patriarchal judiciary.
The five who were convicted were sentenced to between 10 and 12 years in prison.
The crime was committed in October 2016.
A number of European countries have changed their laws in recent years to define rape as sex without consent. Sweden changed the law last year and Denmark is doing the same.