A former Valencia area councillor has declared himself bankrupt to avoid paying €10,000 in compensation to a female employee he sexually abused.
The woman’s solicitor, Maria Jose Jordan, described the move as a ‘ruse’ and a ‘clear abuse of rights’.
Gerardo Isidro Vivo, who used to be on Massalfassar council, was convicted of sexually abusing a woman who had passed out in his car in 2019.
He was given a four year prison term- which he has yet to start serving- and ordered to pay €10,000 compensation.
On September 22, Isidro Vivo and his wife got a Valencia court to agree to a voluntary bankruptcy.
A week later, his solicitor appeared before the same Valencia bench that convicted and jailed him for the sex assault, to set aside the compensation due to his financial status.
Prosecutors hamstrung by the bankruptcy court ruling could legally do nothing to oppose the submission to waive the payment.
Maria Jose Jordan, acting for the victim, lodged an appeal in October which was rejected.
She argued that compensation for a criminal act cannot be bundled in within a bankruptcy.
The solicitor has now launched an online petition to get the law changed.
“It cannot be that a rapist or murderer can dodge their civil liability for a crime simply by declaring bankruptcy,“ she said.
“This is not just about money but about personal and human dignity,” added Maria Jose Jordan.