Spanish actor Willy Toledo has been acquitted by a Madrid criminal court of the charges of hate-speech against religious sentiment and obstruction of justice for remarks he posted on his Facebook account insulting God and the Virgin Mary.
Toledo was taken to court by an association of Catholic attorneys for a Facebook posts in which he used typical Spanish expletives to express his outrage over the influence of the Catholic church in Spain, exclaiming “Yo me cago en dios, y me sobra mierda pa cagarme en el dogma de ‘la santidad y virginidad de la Virgen María’ (“I shit on God, and I have more than enough shit to crap on the dogma of ‘the holiness and virginity of the Virgin Mary”).
In its ruling acquitting the actor of hate-speech and obstruction of justice, the court said that Toledo’s remarks showed a “lack of education, bad taste and foul language” that are characteristic of the actor and his published remarks on social media, in general. But, the court ruled that under Spain’s laws they “do not sustain the charge of a commission of a crime of derision against religious sentiment”.
The acquittal of Toledo marks the second time in a week that Spanish courts have upheld the rights of free speech of individuals because of their social media posts. Last Tuesday, Spain’s Constitutional Court overruled a conviction and yearlong jail sentence handed down by the country’s Supreme Court to rapper César Strawberry on charges of glorifying terrorism and humiliating terror victims for a series of Twitter posts in 2013 and 2014.
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