• Spain's news in English

City shaken after release of "elevator rapist"

George Mills/The Local/AFP · 19 Nov 2013, 17:04

Published: 19 Nov 2013 17:04 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The official, Antonio Martínez Bermejo, said people in the city had been suffering "a certain collective and social psychosis" since the release of Pedro Luis Gallego.

Gallego, 54, was sentenced to 273 years in jail in 1995 for raping and killing two girls aged 17 and 19 and a string of other sex attacks.

In some of the attacks he reportedly approached his victims in their apartment buildings where he forced them into the lift before raping them.

But a Spanish court on November 14th released a sex killer dubbed "the elevator rapist", the third such convict freed under a European human rights ruling on Spain's rules for criminals convicted of certain crimes.

Before his release, Gallego lived in Valladolid, but his current whereabouts are not known.

"We don't have official confirmation of his presence in the city," said Valladolid official Bermejo.

Some city residents, however, have already called police to report sightings of the man, according to Spain's Ideal newspaper.

Many of those callers have demanded Gallego's arrest, the paper reported on Tuesday.

Sources told Spain's Efe news agency that Gallego was in the province of Valladolid but planned to leave "when he found something".

Bermejo, meanwhile, called for "calm" and said people should "trust" in the police to do their job by monitoring the man's behaviour.  

Like certain other serial convicts in Spain, the courts prevented him from shortening his sentence due to credits earned while in jail, under a Spanish judicial procedure known as the Parot Doctrine.

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg last month overruled that doctrine in the case of an ETA prisoner.

Story continues below…

That prompted Spanish courts to accept appeals from various jailed convicts of the Basque separatist group as well as several serial rapists and killers.

The decision outraged many in Spain, including victims of ETA, which is blamed for 829 killings in its four-decade campaign of attacks for an independent Basque homeland.

On Thursday a court in the northern city of Burgos said in a statement that it had taken into account the Strasbourg ruling in ordering the release of Gallego, who under normal rules had been eligible for early release since August 2011.

He was the third rapist to be released under the Strasbourg ruling, after Pablo Garcia Ribado, who was sentenced in 1996 to 1,721 years' jail for 74 rapes, and Antonio Garcia Carbonell, sentenced in 1996 to 268 years.

George Mills/The Local/AFP (george.mills@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Man rescued from bin after climbing in find old clothes
Photo: Policía Local Murcia

Police were called after passersby reported hearing a man calling for help from within a rubbish bin in the Vistabella neighbourhood of Murcia, southern Spain.

Spain faces crucial week as conservatives re-take power
Mariano Rajoy hopes to form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain entered a crucial week as acting conservative PM Mariano Rajoy prepared to re-take power, ending ten rollercoaster months without government marked by hope and disillusion.

Eight very creepy Halloween costumes ideas from Spain
Photo: Pan's Labyrinth

Forget flamenco dancers and bullfighters, The Local counts down the freakiest alternative costume ideas to dress up in this Halloween.

Man attacked by racist thug in UK street for talking Spanish

Tomas Gil, 27, from Valencia in eastern Spain was talking to his girlfriend in their native language after a night out in the British seaside town of Poole when he was set upon by a racist thug.

Malaga: Police probe bizarre 'sex death' of homeless Brit
The man was found near Malaga airport. Photo: Dennis Howlett / Flickr

A British homeless man was found dead tied to a bench near Malaga airport with his trousers down and his genitals in a can of tuna.

Clock ticking as Spain races to avoid third elections
Third elections could now be avoided. Photo: AFP

Spain's Socialists voted on Sunday to allow the conservatives to take power, likely averting a third election for Spaniards tired of going to the polls.

Spain worries about tourism future
Photo: Josep Lago / AFP file picture

After basking in its best tourist summer season in 15 years, Spain now sees dark clouds on the horizon as popular destinations reach saturation point and holidaymakers are more thrifty, industry experts say.

Spain's Socialists lift veto on Rajoy to break deadlock
The Socialists have decided to lift their veto on the minority conservative government or not. Photo: Gerard Julien/ AFP

Spain's embattled Socialists on Sunday voted to lift a long-standing veto that has prevented the conservatives from forming a minority government, in what should finally end a ten-month political impasse.

Spain's 'Napflix' aims to bore viewers to sleep
Photo: Screengrab/ Napflix

A Spanish video platform called Napflix, designed to put people to sleep with dull content, was launched this week and its founders are on the lookout for more "monotony and repetition."

Recipe: How to make fabada - traditional Asturian bean stew
Photo: Flavio Lorenzo Sánchez/Flickr

The hearty Asturian dish is a perfect lunch on a cold day... and don't forget the crusty bread and cider!

Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
jobs available