Spanish Psychiatrist Criado has just been condemned to one year in prison for ‘inappropriate, foul and humiliating’ treatment of his patient. In addition, the psychiatrist, with a practice in Seville, will have to compensate the victim with 5,000 euros for moral damages.
Article is written originally in Spanish by Rosalina Moreno. for the famous legal newsroom CONFILEGAL. [Here it is translated to make it known in other languages]
The 9th Criminal Court of Seville (Spain) has condemned a psychiatrist, José Javier C. F., to one year in prison for a crime against moral integrity, with the aggravating circumstance of undue delay, for the “inappropriate, vulgar and humiliating” treatment of one of his patients.
1 YEAR OF PRISON AND 5.000 EUROS COMPENSATION FOR MORAL DAMAGE
In addition to the prison sentence, he was banned from communicating with or approaching the victim within 300 metres for two years and ordered to pay the victim 5,000 euros in compensation for moral damages.
The ruling, handed down on 31 June (352 /2022), was signed by Judge Isabel Guzmán Muñoz and has just become public.
The patient filed the complaint on 17 December 2015 together with seven other women who reported similar events, but for which these proceedings are not being pursued as they have been declared time-barred on appeal by order of 11 January 2017 by the Seville Provincial Court (Seventh Section).
The case has been handled by lawyer Inmaculada Torres Moreno.
THE PROVEN FACTS
The head of Criminal Court 9 of Seville considers it proven that the plaintiff attended the private consultation of José Javier C. F., in Seville, on 20 and 26 January and 4 and 9 February 2015 – the first of them accompanied by her husband -, receiving “at all times inappropriate, foul and humiliating treatment” by the convicted person, who, “without at any time taking an interest in her psychiatric history, continuously uttered denigrating expressions and enquired about her sex life”.
According to her, he asked her “how many times she had fucked that week” or commented that sending her pills was for nothing “because a good fuck would cure her“, urging her to “wear red thongs, red high heels… because that was what her husband and any man would get her like that” (gesturing with his arm to simulate an erection).
wear red thongs, red high heels… because that was what her husband and any man would get her like that
The judge describes in the ruling various phrases that the psychiatrist uttered to the victim in these consultations, in which he frequently addressed her with expressions such as “crazy” (sometimes even in front of other patients), also telling her “this crazy woman cannot be cured“, while at the same time maintaining a jocular attitude towards her for being a fan of the Real Betis Balompié football club or liking Easter Week.
According to the judge, the victim, who presented depressive episodes of anxiety, “used to leave the consultations in a state of despondency and anxiety“, and after consulting with her husband, she decided to stop going…
THE PLAINTIF’S STATEMENT IS ‘TOTALLY CREDIBLE’.
The prosecution charged him with a continuous crime against moral integrity, articles 74 and 173.1 of the Spanish Criminal Code, and asked that he be sentenced to two years in prison and that he be prohibited from communicating with or approaching the victim within 300 meters for three years, and that he compensate the victim with 6,000 euros.
The private prosecution, for its part, accused him of a crime against moral integrity under article 173.1, and demanded two and a half years in prison, a ban on communication and approaching within 500 meters of the victim for a period of five years longer than the prison sentence imposed and 40,000 euros in compensation for the physical and psychological harm and moral damage caused.
In imposing the prison sentence, the judge particularly valued the “seriousness” of the facts, “damaging with his conduct the integrity of a very vulnerable person, in view of his specific medical situation, and likewise, the fact that the action was not an isolated act“, specifying that “criminal continuity is not penalised as such, since in crimes against moral integrity, degrading treatment is integrated by a reiteration of acts that can be inserted in the typical unit of action provided for in article 173. 1 of the punitive text, which in itself excludes the concept of a continuous offence”.
Guzmán Muñoz indicates that it has not been duly accredited that the victim has suffered objective psychological harm as a result of the actions of the convicted person. However, he explains that the accredited reality of the facts and their content demonstrates a situation of “unavoidable moral damage beyond its objective verification“. She argues that in this case, the moral damage “results from the protected legal right and the seriousness of the action that has criminally damaged her“, and therefore sentences José Javier C. F. to compensate the plaintif with 5,000 euros.
An amount that the judge considers “proportionate and adequate” in view of the circumstances of the case, the context in which the events took place and their description; their duration, as well as the impact that the events have had on the victim, their evolution and the damage to dignity caused, without reaching the amount claimed by the private prosecution, on the grounds that the possible consequences suffered have not been expressly defined.
The judge emphasised that the prosecution’s evidence focused on the victim’s witness statement, which “is totally credible”, being “clear and thorough, despite the time that has elapsed since the events, coherent, with no contradictions and persistent“, is “surrounded by objective peripheral corroborations that reinforce the plausibility of her testimony” and “is supported” by various medical and psychological reports.
Thus, the judge refers to the testimony of the plaintif’s ex-husband, who accompanied her in the first consultation, or that of several patients who went to the psychiatrist’s practice for various mental health problems and who agreed “on the humiliating treatment they were given, with the defendant repeatedly engaging in conduct of a sexual nature, [and them] being subjected to continuous interrogations to find out their sexual tastes, which made them feel humiliated and not treated with respect“.
“These witnesses have narrated their different experiences in the oral trial, which will not be dealt with in this decision, so as not to cause any defencelessness as they have been declared time-barred and cannot be prosecuted, but even if they are not examined, their testimony of reference must be valued,” she explains.
FEELINGS OF ANGUISH AND INFERIORITY
The magistrate highlights that in the case in question, “the victim’s statement, persistent, coherent and objectively corroborated, is rationally sufficient to prove the commission of the crime, despite the fact that the defendant, using his right to defence, denies the facts, even having treated patients in a familiar and close manner, or having used some crude expression with them, as the forcefulness of the statements made contradict his version of the facts“.
In the judge’s opinion, “there is no doubt that the subjection by a psychiatrist to a patient with mental disorders to a situation of humiliation with comments” such as those described in the rulin, constitute the behaviour punishable under article 173 of the Spanish Criminal Code, since “such expressions are not only inappropriate for the doctor-patient relationship, but also created feelings of anguish and inferiority in the victim, likely to humiliate her, taking into account that she was a particularly vulnerable person due to her psychiatric history“.
The sentence is not final. An appeal may be filed against it with the Provincial Court of Seville.
such expressions are not only inappropriate for the doctor-patient relationship, but also created feelings of anguish and inferiority in the victim