High court rules on sexual abuse victims

The Supreme Court has ruled that sexual abuse victims need not prove they physically resisted their assailants.

In a 17-page decision, the Supreme Court on its website dated May 12, 2021, the court’s Third Division upheld the conviction of Joselito Salazar for the 2013 rape of a 15-year-old in Barangay Kalawaan, Pasig City.

In his appeal, the convict questioned the victim’s credibility because her supposed demeanor during and after the rape was contrary to human conduct.

He also claimed that the victim did not shout for help nor attempted to go away.

Ruling against the defense, the court said: “People react differently to distressing situations. In rape cases, victims are not burdened to shop physical resistance when they are intimidated. Intimidation is addressed to the victim’s perception and is, therefore subjective.”

“This court will not burden victims of rape of proving physical resistance, especially when their assailants assaulted them and coerced them with a lethal weapon,” the tribunal added.

The convict was sentenced to reclusion perpetua (between 20 and 40 years) and ordered to pay P225,000 in civil indemnities and damages.

Topics: Supreme Court , sexual abuse victims , rape , Joselito Salazar
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