Women and Justice: Location

Domestic Case Law

AA v. Attorney General's Office, Case No. 375/2007 Criminal Appeals Court 3º Tº (2007)

Domestic and intimate partner violence

The accused (AA) was sentenced to 20 months in prison by the Trial Court for crimes of domestic violence against his wife. AA filed an appeal to the Appeals Court arguing that the scope of the law against domestic violence applies only to victims that are deemed to be defenseless. AA argued that the victim BB was a member of the military and as such could not be deemed a defenseless person. The Appeals Court dismissed the appeal affirming the decision of the Trial Court.  The Appeals Court determined that the fact that the victim was a member of the military was irrelevant and that the acts of violence were appropriately analyzed considering only the aggressor.



AA v. Attorney General's Office, Case No. 327/2008 Criminal Appeals Court 1º Tº (2008)

Domestic and intimate partner violence

AA was sentenced to 12 months by the Trial Court of Tacuarembó for domestic violence deemed to be aggravated because the victim was a woman. AA and the victim had been living together in common law marriage since 2000, and in 2002 the victim reported on several occasions multiple instances of physical abuse as well as of psychological violence. In September 2003, the victim filed a complaint against AA for injuries inflicted to her neck and arm, which were verified by a public health doctor. The couple reconciled but thereafter got separated again. On January 1, 2004 the victim was on her way to visit a friend when AA intercepted her on the street and forcibly grabbed her left arm while pressing against her mouth a ring he was carrying until he broke her front tooth. Between December 2003 and January 2004 the victim had also reported threats and aggressions from AA. AA appealed to the Appeals Court but the Appeals Court dismissed the appeal affirming the decision of the Trial Court, ruling that the 12-month sentence was appropriate considering the evidence presented and the dangerous personality of AA.



Caeiro v. Tecnosolar S.A., Case No. SEF-0013-000001/2015 Labor Appeals Court 2ºT (2015)

Employment discrimination, Sexual harassment

Fernanda Caeiro (Plaintiff) sued Tecnosolar S.A. (Defendant) in civil labor court for damages suffered because of sexual harassment in the workplace.  Plaintiff was an employee of defendant for 13 years and always had good performance reviews and was even promoted. One of the company’s directors, Mr. Gustavo Capurro, continuously harassed her in the workplace for over two years even though Plaintiff rejected his propositions.  Over the course of those two years, Mr. Capurro sent several inappropriate text messages and emails to Plaintiff. Plaintiff never responded to these messages.  On one occasion, he sent an email with more than 70 pictures of sexual content to Plaintiff. After this occurrence, Plaintiff filed a formal complaint with one of the company’s executives who asked Mr. Capurro to apologize but did not take any additional action against him.  Plaintiff quit her job and sued her employer for sexual harassment in the work place.  The Trial Court ruled in favor of Plaintiff and awarded her UR$ 880.272 pesos and a 10% administrative fine against Defendant.  Defendant appealed, arguing there was not enough evidence to find for Plaintiff and that, if anything, Plaintiff had consented to Mr. Capurro’s advancements. The Appeals Court analyzed all the unanswered harassing emails and messages sent by Mr. Capurro to Plaintiff and determined the appeal had no basis.  The court determined that Mr. Capurro’s conduct qualified as sexual harassment in the workplace per the definition included in Law No. 18.561 and that his conduct had effectively created a hostile work environment for Plaintiff that had forced her to quit her job.  Therefore, The Appeals Court affirmed the Trial Court’s award.



AA v. Attorney General's Office, Case No. 413/2008 Criminal Appeals Court 2º Tº (2008)

Domestic and intimate partner violence

The accused (AA) was sentenced to 10 months with a suspended sentence by the Trial Court for the crime of domestic violence against his wife (BB). AA intimidated and committed continuous acts of violence against BB. The continuous and manipulative nature of this violence was deemed an aggravating circumstance by the Trial Court. AA appealed, arguing the Trial Court had improperly analyzed the evidence presented and that there was not enough evidence to convict him. The Appeals Court determined that the evidence on file needed to be analyzed in the context of the contentious relationship between AA and BB.  While AA argued that BB had mental problems, the court found this argument a mere pretext to deflect attention away from his own misconduct. The facts of the case showed that BB maintained the home and paid for AA’s expenses, a fact demonstrating that AA had an additional interest in BB other than one of affection. The doorman of the building where AA and BB lived testified that he once saw AA breaking things in a violent rampage, testimony contradicting AA’s statement that he was not destructive.  The Appeals Court found that there was sufficient evidence in the record to demonstrate AA’s guilt and affirmed the decision of the Trial Court.



AA v. Attorney General's Office, Case No. 328/2011 Criminal Appeals Court 2º Tº (2011)

Sexual violence and rape

The 28-year-old accused (AA) was sentenced to seven years and six months in prison by the Trial court for the crimes of rape, kidnapping and robbery. On March 27, 2011, AA approached the 18-year-old victim (BB) at a bus station and threatened her with a knife. BB offered him money, but AA put a knife to her throat and took her to a nearby field where he sexually assaulted her several times during several hours of the night, hit her repeatedly and also videotaped a sexual assault with his cellphone. AA then tied up BB and, before leaving her in the field, used BB’s cellphone to text her mother the location where BB could be found. He stole the cellphone and sold it at a fair. On July 22, 2011, AA was arrested. In his possession police found a memory card with pornography and the video of BB’s rape. The Appeals Court dismissed the appeal and affirmed the decision of the Trial Court. The Appeals Court amended the qualification of the crimes to aggravated. The Appeals Court also rendered opinion that the sentence imposed by the Trial Court should have been more severe due to the proven dangerous nature of AA.



Durand v. Prieto, Case No. 312/2017 Family Appeals Court 1ºT (2017)

Domestic and intimate partner violence

A trial court awarded Mariangeles Durand (Plaintiff) US$4,500 for actual damages and US$30,000 for emotional distress damages as a result of domestic violence committed by her common-law husband Luis Prieto (Defendant).  Defendant appealed arguing that, beyond Plaintiff’s testimony and a medical diagnosis based on that testimony, there was no proof that Defendant committed acts of domestic violence against Plaintiff and that Plaintiff’s depression and anxiety were the consequences of a preexisting medical condition.  Additionally, Defendant argued on appeal that the law does not recognize emotional distress damages in a common law marriage because the duty of fidelity and the duty to do no harm only arise from marriage. Finally, Defendant argued that Plaintiff consented to the acts of domestic violence acts and therefore there could be no damages.  The Family Appeals Court determined that domestic violence is a human rights violation: a victim cannot consent to be the victim of domestic violence and every person has a general duty to not harm another.  The Family Appeals court also ruled that the medical and psychological diagnoses were not hearsay. The Family Appeals Court dismissed the appeal and partially affirmed the decision of the Trial Court, concluding that Defendant breached a duty to Plaintiff and there was causation between the domestic violence and the damages suffered by Plaintiff.  However, it reduced the award of actual damages from $4,500 to $2,250 due to the fact that Defendant had already made payments to Plaintiff.



AA v. Attorney General's Office, Case No. 299/2010 Criminal Appeals Court 1º Tº (2010)

Domestic and intimate partner violence

The accused (AA) was sentenced to two years in prison by the Trial Court for aggravated domestic violence.  The court considered the aggravating circumstances to be the accused’s recidivism and the use of his strength to overpower his female victim.  AA had a history of domestic violence against his wife (BB).  Even though he had repeatedly assaulted BB and even stabbed her once, BB refused to file a complaint against him.  A family court judge imposed a restraining order against AA pursuant to which he could not get closer than 300 meters to BB and her children, but BB on several occasions allowed AA back in her home and near the children.  On October 7, 2008, AA came over to BB’s house with the intention of moving back in, but when BB said no AA locked her and her children in a room for two hours.  He did not physically assault them, but did threaten to kill them.  BB filed a complaint and AA was convicted of domestic violence.  AA appealed arguing that BB had subsequently withdrawn her criminal complaint against him and that this fact should be considered consent to his conduct. The Appeals Court determined that the victim’s withdrawal of her complaint was a consequence of “battered women’s syndrome,” and had no bearing on a criminal action.  The Appeals Court dismissed the appeal and affirmed the decision of the Trial Court.



AA v. Attorney General's Office, Case No. 6/2009 Criminal Appeals Court 2º Tº (2009)

Sexual violence and rape, Statutory rape or defilement

The accused (AA) was sentenced to three years and six months in prison by the Trial Court for the continuous sexual abuse of a 15-year-old girl (BB) and her kidnapping. AA sexually abused BB once a week since she was 11 years old. When BB was 15 years old, AA called her over to his house under false pretenses and then locked her inside against her will for six hours and raped her.  AA was drunk and when he got distracted, BB was able to escape and find a neighbor to help her.  The trial court determined that there was enough evidence to prove the kidnapping and that the sexual abuse was continuous.  The Appeals Court dismissed AA’s appeal affirming the decision of the Trial Court with the exception of its finding the rape as continuous sexual abuse. Based on the facts of the case, the Appeals Court qualified the sexual abuse as repetitive instead of continuous.  It also determined that AA’s inebriation was voluntary, and thus has no bearing on the sentencing.



AA v. Attorney General's Office, Case No. 359/2013 Criminal Appeals Court 1º Tº (2013)

Sexual violence and rape, Statutory rape or defilement

The accused (AA) was sentenced to four years in prison by the Trial Court for aggravated sexual abuse of a minor (BB). AA and the mother of BB had a common law marriage. AA had been sexually abusing BB since she was eight years old and started raping her when she turned 11.  At age 14, BB became pregnant as a result of rape committed by AA.  BB’s mother discovered AA’s abuse and filed the criminal complaint.  AA admitted being the victim’s “lover.”  The court considered the fact that AA took advantage of his domestic relationship with BB’s mother and abused his victim during the night aggravating circumstances.  AA’s confession was an attenuating circumstance reducing the sentence imposed.  The Appeals Court dismissed AA’s appeal and affirmed the decision of the Trial Court, ruling that there was enough evidence presented to establish the facts of the case.