It was a matter of time before Pedro Luis Gallego , known as the rapist of the elevator , acted again. And, according to the investigations, it seems that he has done it again, this time in Madrid: two rapes and two other attempts at young people of 20 years. Because it is what the so-called sexual predators do , as it was defined yesterday by the Chief of Police of Madrid, Alfonso José Fernández, a definition with which criminologists and psychologists agree.
“Gallego, 59, responds to that profile, that of a psychopath who is difficult to stop because he does not recover. As much as you work with him in prison, you can not, “say sources in penitentiary institutions, who immediately clarify that this does not happen with all rapists,” far from it. They are the most extreme, isolated cases, on which it is very difficult to act, “they insist. The problem, they admit, is the trail of victims that they leave on the road.
In her case, young women, between 17 and 24 years old, whom she has left permanently marked and to whom she has destroyed her life.
A forced freedom without the possibility of controlling or monitoring the steps of the aggressor
These murderers and rapists are difficult to control even for the police. Yesterday, Fernandez admitted that they had not been able to control Pedro Luis Gallego after his release from prison in 2013 for the murder of two young men and 18 rapes. Doing it was illegal.
“We have millions of data and files, but in this case it is a person who had been released and who could not apply any extraordinary measure,” said the Chief of Police of Madrid. Because when one is serving a sentence, the debt with society is over and, therefore, what is related to that crime (in this case, the numerous crimes) is extinguished. They can not even check DNA, they say.
Now the sexual predator has awakened. Although the correct thing, point out psychiatrists and criminologists, would be to say that as much has been drowsy, waiting for the opportunity arose to attack again. In the years prior to the release from prison, reports prepared by experts warned that the rapist of the elevator was not rehabilitated. Or put another way, these professionals warned that, once released, the risk of re-raping was very high. “We could say that in profiles as exceptional as this rapist, the certainty of recidivism is absolute,” says Eduard Vieta, head of the psychology and psychiatry service at the Hospital Clínic in Barcelona.
Specialists propose more therapy after release from jail, instead of long sentences
And why has not it been possible to prevent Gallego from raping again? Is the question. A question that costs to find an answer. Ignacio González Vega, spokesperson for Judges for Democracy, points out that in cases like this rapist justice could not do anything more than what he has done. “Pedro Luis Gallego served his sentence and once he was released he became a citizen with the same rights and duties as the rest of society.” There was not the possibility of watching him or controlling his movements, nor forcing him to continue any treatment or therapy.
This rapist was one of the serial sexual aggressors who in 2013 benefited from the repeal of the Parot doctrine (a rule that allowed lengthen the sentences to this type of prisoners so dangerous and that in the case of Gallego had kept him in prison until 2022) knocked down by the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Could the last victims of this rapist now claim any responsibility to that European court or to the judges who released Gallego? Ignacio considers that this requirement “would have no meaning, nor possibility of prospering”. The judges have limited themselves, in this case, “to apply the norm set by the legislators,” adds Ignacio.
Santiago Redondo, Professor of Criminology at the University of Barcelona, agrees with this judge that from the legal point of view nothing could be done to prevent the release of this rapist. But one thing is the law and another, Redondo points out, “look for alternatives in other areas so that this type of case does not happen again”.
The rights of these prisoners are sometimes valued more than the protection of future victims
The criminologist is committed to the creation of a reintegration criminology service “that would take care of the accompaniment of these prisoners, with a high risk of recidivism, once they are free.” He admits that many of them would refuse that option, “but the success of the professionals would go through knowing how to convince them of the need for that advice that would also serve to control them”.
Eduard Vieta advocates, for his part, for a decided legislative change. “In cases of rapists or serial killers that are practically irrecoverable, a good formula could be the application of shorter sentences and long periods of surveillance and control obtained freedom, instead of long sentences and no control when released from prison.” This psychiatrist emphasizes that you should never forget, when talking about the rights of a criminal who has already served his sentence, that there is “another supreme good such as protecting future victims when there is certainty that the prisoner will reoffend. once I’m on the street. “
The arrest of Pedro Luis Gallego has reopened the debate of the permanent reviewable prison. If it had been possible to apply, in this case that rapist would continue with all security imprisoned. It is a norm that also includes supervised freedom, which allows the control of these offenders in freedom. Although that surveillance has an expiration date.
For Redondo, another formula would be to establish, in the most extreme cases, follow-ups of up to five years once the sentence is served. Different studies show that after that period, once obtained the freedom, very few delinquents return to reoffend.