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Today a modification to Article 119, which defines the legal meaning of the term “sexual abuse”, was made official. The modification was approved on the 26th of April by Congress and has now been formalized by the government.

Where the article previously said “The penalty will be 6-15 years of confinement or prison when […] there is bodily access through any tract,” the wording has been changed. It now reads: “The penalty will be 6-15 years of confinement or prison when […] there is bodily access through the anal, vaginal or oral tracts or other similar acts introducing objects or parts of the body into one of the first two tracts.” The modification has been made to include penetration by any object or body part.

In the case of non-penetrative sexual abuse, the penalty will be 6 months to 4 years when the victim “is under 13 years of age or when there is violence, threat, coercive or intimidating abuse within a relationship of dependence, authority or power, or taking advantage of the fact that the victim, for whatever reason, was unable to consent freely to the action.” In cases in which “the abuse, because of its duration or the circumstances of its occurrence, constitutes grave sexual subjugation of the victim” the penalty will be 4 to 10 years of imprisonment. If “circumstances of the first paragraph applying, there is bodily access through the anal, vaginal or oral tract or other similar acts introducing objects or parts of the body into one of the first two tracts,” the penalty will be 6-15 years.

The article continues: “In the case of grave sexual abuse and bodily access, the penalty will be 8-20 years of prison if:

a) there is grave damage to the physical or mental health of the victim;
b) the act was committed by a parent, child, direct relative, sibling, tutor, guardian, minister of any recognized or unrecognized cult, person in charge of education or custody;
c) the perpetrator had knowledge of being a carrier of a grave sexually transmitted disease, and there was a risk of contagion;
d) the act was committed by two or more people, or with weapons;
e) the act was committed by staff belonging to the police or security forces, during their duties;
f) the act was committed against a minor, under 18 years old, taking advantage of a situation of pre-existing cohabitation with the victim.”

The penalty will be 3-10 years “if the circumstances of subsections a), b), d), e) or f) coincide.”