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Thousands call for gay man sent to prison for sexual assault against a woman to be freed

Gay man claims he is going to prison as an innocent man

Thousands call for gay man sent to prison for sexual assault against a woman to be freed
Facebook/Joan Cardona
Joan Cardona sent to jail for sexually assaulting a woman

Thousands are calling for a gay man, sent to prison for sexual assault against a woman, to be freed.

Joan Cardona, from Minorca and living in Barcelona, was sent to prison this week for three years for fondling a woman’s chest and genitals over her clothing without consent.

He said he is gay, has never had any interest in a woman, and has claimed he is a victim of a ‘miscarriage of justice’.

The 28-year-old was jailed after his legal fight came to an end this month.

Back in November 2012, a young woman was outside her home when a young man – driving a motorcycle, wearing a helmet and a leather jacket – stopped to assault her.

Ten days later, the girl said she recognized Cardona at a supermarket in which he worked.

At a police line-up, she said Cardona was the man who assaulted her.

In court, Cardona pleaded not guilty.

He said he is gay, and both his brother and roommate said they were all having dinner on the evening in question.

Cardona said he doesn’t have a motorbike or a license to ride one. He also provided a transcript of Facebook chat that showed him messaging with his boyfriend at the same time as the assault. His partner, now an ex, provided supportive testimony at trial.

The judge admitted the victim had given only general physical characteristics of her attacker, such as the aggressor’s eyes were ‘green or blue’ and was 6ft tall. Cardona is 5ft 7in and has brown eyes.

The Department of Traffic Headquarters also said Cardona, or anyone he said he knew, does not have a motorbike in their possession. Cardona also reportedly does not own a leather jacket or helmet.

However, in court, the judge sided with the victim as she was ‘very passionate’ that Cardona was the aggressor. He also threw out the evidence, saying Cardona could have been driving a friend’s motorbike and his physical characteristics were concealed by the helmet.

Nearly 10,000 people sign a petition to get ‘Justice for Joan’

On Tuesday, Cardona bid farewell to his supporters. The hashtag #JusticiaParaJoan has been used to fight for his freedom.

‘A hug to all!’ he said before going to jail. ‘See you soon!’

Nearly 10,000 people have signed a petition for the Constitutional Court to assess Cardona’s case.

‘We ask the Constitutional Court to take a closer look at this case and to value the evidence and testimony provided in the trial.

‘There was one victim in this case when it started, but now our judicial system has created two.’

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