Defendant Juan Carlos, a member of a gang known as the Mara Salvatrucha (MS), was arrested for sexually harassing and detaining a 16-year-old girl. The victim was waiting for a bus an early afternoon when the defendant snatched her bag, attempted to kiss her, grabbed her by the neck, and forced her into a restaurant. When the victim attempted to run away, the defendant pursued her and forcibly took her into a house where the defendant detained her in a room. An anonymous individual in the neighborhood informed the police that the defendant was holding a girl captive. Police officers entered the house and arrested the defendant. Section 165 of the El Salvadoran Penal Code provides that a person is liable for sexual harassment when that person engages in unwanted sexual conduct involving phrases, touching, signs or other unequivocal sexual conduct that does not in itself constitute a more serious offense. Sexual harassment is punishable by three to five years of imprisonment. Section 165 further provides that sexual harassment against a child under the age of 15 is punishable by eight years imprisonment. Additionally, Section 148 of the El Salvadoran Penal Code provides that a person is liable for deprivation of freedom when that person deprives another of his or her individual liberty. The crime of deprivation of freedom is punishable by three to six years imprisonment. The court found that the defendant sexually harassed the victim in violation of article 165 and deprived the victim of her freedom in violation of article 148. Because the defendant performed multiple crimes, he was sentenced to 10 years 8 months of imprisonment. Three years of this sentence are attributable to sexual harassment, five years attributable to deprivation of freedom, increased by 1/3 for depriving a minor under the age of 18 of her liberty.
Juan Carlos F.G., Case No. 18-2016-3