FOUR fourteen-year-old boys and one seventeen-year old have been arrested in Barcelona on suspicion of sexually assaulting a female classmate while their teacher was present in the room.
The alleged attack happened on February 2, during the school day, and has since been reported to the police by the mother of the victim.
According to the account given by the victim, who is also 14, the suspects at the school in Rubí, Barcelona province, threw the girl to the ground, insulted her and beat her when she tried to escape.
The suspects are also alleged to have moved their genital areas in front of her face to simulate oral sex.
A number of witnesses have confirmed that the teacher was in the room, according to Spanish daily El Pais, but was allegedly not aware of what was happening.
The same witnesses added that the group of adolescents had behaved in a similar way before, and that they were well known for terrorising other students.
The arrests were made on February 7 by the Catalan regional police, the Mossos d’Esquadra. The youngsters were released the same day. The authorities are treating the incident as a sexual assault.
Under Spanish law, teenagers aged 14 and under cannot be prosecuted. This means that four of the group could not face punishment even if guilty of the assault.
The public prosecutor for minors, however, usually investigates everyone involved in such an incident on the basis that they did nothing to stop it from happening, and therefore were an integral part of the assault taking place.