A 26-year-old man arrested in Palma for alleged sexual exploitation of a minor

The National Police arrested this week in Palma a 26-year-old Spanish national, as the alleged perpetrator of the crimes of corruption of minors, against public health and threats. The previous complaint against the aforementioned young man was recently filed by the alleged victim, a 17-year-old teenager. The news has been advanced this Friday by the newspaper “Última Hora” and confirmed by ABC.

The arrested man went to court on Wednesday. After appearing electronically before the head of the Investigating Court number 1 of Palma, on duty, the suspect was released on charges. In parallel, the magistrate issued an order of protection in favor of the minor, who would have started to be a prostitute in 2017. In principle, the investigation carried out by the Family and Women Unit (UFAM) of the National Police in relation to this This case would not have a direct relationship with the police and judicial actions already underway for months related to the existence of minors under guardianship in Mallorca who are victims of sexual exploitation.

It should be recalled, in this regard, that last January the case of a 13-year-old girl who ran away from her reception center on Christmas Eve came to light and that, that same night, she was raped in a group by six minors in a the Palma district of Es Camp Redó. After this multiple sexual assault was made public, the Consell de Mallorca confirmed shortly after the existence of 16 recent cases of child sexual exploitation in Mallorca, 15 of them girls. In the insular institution, a tripartite conformed by the PSOE, Unidas Podemos and MÉS governs in the present mandate, under the presidency of the socialist Catalina Cladera.

In the Balearic Islands, the reception or supervised centers, all of open regime, are managed exclusively by the councils, while the detention centers, for young people with criminal records, are controlled by the regional government. In the case of the Consell de Mallorca, the 30 reception centers that exist on the island depend on the Mallorcan Institute for Social Affairs (IMAS). Precisely, numerous criticisms have been leveled at the said body in recent months, due to the possible inaction of the current tripartite to detect and deal with the cases of sexual exploitation of minors under guardianship that had become known now.

Political initiatives
In this context, one of the most reiterated petitions by the opposition during the past month of February had been the creation of a commission of inquiry into minors under guardianship who are victims of sexual exploitation or abuse. Thus, the spokesmen of the PP, Cs and PI in the Consell de Mallorca presented at the plenary session held on February 13 at the island institution a joint motion in which they requested the creation of a commission of investigation. This proposal was rejected by the insular tripartite government team.

Subsequently, on February 18, the PSOE, Unidas Podemos and MÉS also voted against proposed proposals by Cs and Vox in the regional Parliament in favor of a parliamentary committee of inquiry. Finally, only a commission of experts was started up in the Consell de Mallorca, promoted by the tripartite that governs the institution.

Thus, the extraordinary Executive Council of the Consell de Mallorca held on March 10 approved the appointment of Professor of Victimology Noemí Pereda as coordinator of the aforementioned commission of experts, which will evaluate cases of sexual exploitation of minors under guardianship in Mallorca. Pereda has a PhD in Psychology from the University of Barcelona and has specialized in developmental victimology, standing out for her work in the field of child abuse and sexual abuse.

The seven members of the commission of experts —Pereda and six members— must present a report with their conclusions and their proposals for improvement within a maximum period of three months. Within the framework of this new commission, the last four presidents of the IMAS are also expected to appear, specifically, the socialist Jaume Garau, the popular Catalina Cirer, the eco-sovereignist Margalida Puigserver and the socialist Javier de Juan. All these forecasts had been formulated, in any event, before the state of alarm had been decreed throughout the country for the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. .

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