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New outrage as Spain bails "Animal Pack" in sex abuse case

MADRID -- A Spanish court triggered a new wave of outrage Thursday by granting bail to five men acquitted of gang rape and convicted instead on a lesser felony of sexual abuse. A court in northern Spain set bail at 6,000 euros ($7,000) each while the men's appeals against a nine-year prison sentence handed down in April are considered, Spanish news agency Europa Press and other national media reported.

Court officials were not immediately available for comment. It was not clear when the men might leave prison.

An 18-year-old woman said she was attacked during Pamplona's famed San Fermin bull-running festival in 2016 as she returned to her car.

Demonstration Against Verdict For Sexual Assault During San Fermin 'Run Of The Bulls'
Protesters raise their hands during a demonstration against the verdict of the 'La Manada' (Wolf Pack) gang case outside the Minister of Justice on April 26, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. Getty

Prosecutors said the men filmed their attack and boasted about their actions on a WhatsApp group named "La Manada," or "The (animal) Pack."

Women's rights groups, equality campaigners and other activists called for protest marches in Pamplona and Barcelona later Thursday and in Madrid on Friday.

Marches after April's verdict brought tens of thousands of protesters into the streets.