Manuel Arbesú González was initially suspended from his post for six months for failing to report a crime.
According to the Spanish government’s daily congressional record (BOE), Arbesú was travelling by train with a friend who verbally and sexually harassed a woman sitting next to them. The report mentions how he even touched the woman’s genitalia.
Rather than prevent or report the crime, the Civil Guard officer filmed the events with his mobile. The footage reveals how Arbesú laughed at what was happening.
The aggressor, who also attacked another passenger who tried to stop the attack, has since been hit with sexual harassment and bodily harm charges.
But Arbesú has since been pardoned by Spain’s Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz Gallardón, who reinstated him immediately and gave him instead a €500 fine which he will have to pay with a daily €3 quota.
Numerous Spanish newspapers have covered the story while highlighting that the pardoned Civil Guard is the son of a city councillor in the northern Spanish region of Asturias who belongs to the country’s ruling Popular Party.