Monday 14 June 2021

“Touching Without Consent” Is A Crime in Costa Rica

Q COSTA RICA – In Costa Rica, touching, without consent (Acariciar sin consentimiento in Spanish), the waist and back and any other body part of a person for the purpose of ‘satisfying a pleasure’ constitutes a crime of sexual abuse.

Image for illustrative purposes

That is the determination of the Sala Tercera de la Corte Suprema de Justicia (Supreme Court), in judgement 2016-01107, of October 21, 2016, confirming the conviction against a manager of a restaurant, accused of sexual harassment to the detriment of a cashier.

- Advertisement -

For the high court, Costa Rica legislation does not limit touching without consent only to areas of sexual arousal (erogenous zones), but could also include legs, arms, stomach, waist, back or neck, provided that “it is determined there is libidinous (sexual pleasure for the accused)”.

The ruling also noted that caresses can be punished, even if they are no accompanied by “insinuating phrases of carnal desires”.

The punishment is imprisonment of between two and four years, according to Article 162 of the Penal Code (Codigo Penal in Spanish).

The case in question goes back to events occurring between September 2010 and January 2011, the accused, a 65 year-old man who was manager of the restaurant, is attributed to three counts of sexual abuse against a woman, whose identity was protected, a cashier with three children and worked at the restaurant for five months.

- Advertisement -

In the complaint, the woman described the three events: one time when he took advantage to approach her from the back…touching her buttocks (over her clothing) with his hands; the other when he approached from the back, told her how nice she smelled and kissed her neck; and the third time, again approaching her from the back, caressed her waist and back.

In the first trial, on October 9, 2015, the Tribunal de Goicoechea sentenced José Antonio Robles Mora to a six-year sin prison. However, on appeal, on March 18, 2016, the sentenced was reduced to four years.

In the appeal, the appellate judges concluded that touching the waist and back is not a crime because there was no lustful intent, the accused did not make any sexual comments, so that it could not, in itself, be considered an abusive act of sexual connotation.

However, prosecutor Jéssica Hernández Elizondo objected to the criterion and took the matter to a higher court.

For the prosecutor the touching of the waist and back was made with “obvious overtones of sexual harassment”.

The prosecutor, in her appeal, pointed out that many parts of the body are also areas of sexual pleasure.

- Advertisement -

The prosecutor’s interpretation was accepted by the judges of the higher court, turning down the appeal court reduction of sentence and reinstated the original six-year prison term.

Mora entered prison on October 29, 2016 and is eligible for release in September 2020, confirmed the Ministry of Justice.

Source La Nacion

Who would you allow to touch you, and where?

Struggling to know when it is appropriate to give someone a hug or even simply pat them on the arm? Oxford University scientists have created a series of body maps that show just where we are comfortable to be touched.

Oxford University scientists have created a series of body maps that show just where we are comfortable to be touched

The ‘touchability index’ provides colour-coded information for everyone from our nearest and dearest to extended family, casual acquaintances and complete strangers.

The touchability index shows how comfortable males and females are with being touched on various parts of the body, with yellow being the most comfortable and black the least. It shows the variation by different people ranging from partners, relatives and complete strangers

The above are only results of the Oxford study and does not take into account Costa Rica laws on the subject.

According to the Oxford study, males are seemingly perfectly happy for strangers to touch them all over – as long as they are female

- Advertisement -

We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

Spanish police frustrate “hit” on Tico sent from Costa Rica

QCOSTARICA - A man in Costa Rica planned and ordered the...

The New Feminism in Latin America

Q REPORTS - The mobilizations against racism and machismo in Latin...


Which countries could follow El Salvador by making it legal tender?

Q24N - El Salvador may be the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, but recent developments suggest that it might not be...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction: June 10, “ODDS”

Today, Thursday, June 10, only ODDS can circulate. The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm, save for those under the...

Europe opens the doors to tourism, these are the requirements

Q TRAVEL - Europe opened the doors to tourism. While worldwide vaccination against covid-19 advances above the levels of each country, the restrictions are...

Central America is back in the news for the wrong reasons, Costa Rica is once again the exception

QCOSTARICA - Osta Rica has been the epicenter of regional diplomacy in recent days. The successive visits of the Secretary of State of the...

Opinion: Peru’s electoral drama is damaging democracy

Q REPORTS (DW) In Peru, the left-wing village school teacher Pedro Castillo has in all probability been elected the new president. The fact that...

Vaccine Tourism – A Practical Guide

By Amy Gdala, Guest Contributor - The US has a surplus of vaccines, while Costa Rica is struggling to supply sufficient numbers to citizens...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 14: 1 & 2 CANNOT circulate

Today, Monday, June 14, vehicles with plates ending 1 & 2 CANNOT circulate The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm,...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction: June 11, “EVENS”

Today, Friday, June 11, only EVENS can circulate. The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm, save for those under the...

Tilaran, where the wind blows

QCOSTARICA - For years, Tilarán has seen the transit of tourists heading towards Lake Arenal, the homonymous volcano and La Fortuna or towards Monteverde. At...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.