Settling debt with oral sex is 'legal', Spain's Constitutional Court rules

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Settling debt with oral sex is 'legal', Spain's Constitutional Court rules

Spain’s Constitutional Court has rejected a woman’s appeal against a sentence that did not consider it a crime for a former relative to ask her for oral sex as a means of paying back €15,000 she owed him.


In a bizarre legal case, Spain’s Constitutional Court has rejected the appeal of a Spanish woman who filed a sexual abuse and coercion complaint against her ex-brother-in-law at the Provincial Court of Palma de Mallorca in late December. 

The woman, 38, told the regional judge she had felt forced to perform oral sex on her former relative after he requested that she pay him back €15,000 she owed with fellatio.

She explained how due to financial difficulties she had asked her ex-husband’s brother, with whom she’d maintained a good relationship, to transfer the money to her account, something he agreed to do without initially stipulating when and how she should pay him back. 

At a later date, the man reportedly told her that due to the favour she owed, she had to give him “two or three blow jobs a week and be his floozy whilst the debt was outstanding”, something she felt “psychologically obliged to do” and went ahead with on five occasions.  

The accused, 58, maintained his innocence, arguing that they’d reached “a deal to have sexual relations in return for lending her €15,000 without interest” and that "demanding compliance with a previously accepted deal does not constitute a crime".


He told the court that when his ex-sister-in-law changed her mind about the sexual encounters and he asked her for financial reimbursement instead, only then dud she decide to file a complaint. The woman for her part also accused her former relative of sending her a letter in which he wrote "either you pay or I'll sue you".

The Balearic judge found no evidence of sexual abuse or coercion, concluding that "it was a freely agreed relationship" between the two and that the arrangement ceased "when there was no consent" on the woman’s behalf, without this opposition having "any consequence other than claiming the debt”.

When the plaintiff then decided to appeal the matter at Spain’s Constitutional Court, judges again washed their hands of it, arguing that the case did not justify "special constitutional significance", one of the requirements that protection claims must meet in order to be accepted.

In other words, Spain's Constitutional Court, an independent body from the State which has the final say on all matters relating to fundamental rights and breaches of them, doesn't necessarily consider that paying back financial debt in sexual favours is illegal if agreed to by both parties.

For some legal sources, the fact that they've shelved the appeal does not mean that Spain's Constitutional Court endorses oral sex as a form of payment as they have not actually delivered any verdict on the matter.

The same applies to the Balearic high court's decision, as their ruling referred to whether the man's actions represented sexual abuse or coercion, not wether sexual acts are a legal means of debt payment. 


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