A man has been arrested for forcing his girlfriend to wear a padlock on her pants to guarantee her sexual fidelity to her. As if that's not sad enough, said paranoid abusive offender has apparently been getting away with it for years.
Authorities say that the 25-year-old woman finally broke her silence when she was unable to go to the restroom for several hours. In excruciating pain and unable to take it anymore, she went to the police.
The couple live in an impoverished, rural community in the Mexican gulf state of Veracruz, reports WTKR.
She told police that her boyfriend had required her to wear the padlock, which acts as a chastity belt, for years. She added that the padlock left her unable to remove her pants, and that she was too terrified of him to cut through the jeans.
After police arrested her 40-year-old boyfriend, he gave them a key and admitted to keeping her pants locked up.
Surprisingly, the woman refused to press charges on the man once he was detained.
"The suspect was still taken into custody on a misdemeanor charge, but released a few hours later," said Araceli Gonzalez, executive director of the Equifonia, a women's rights group.
Indeed, there seemed to have been very little by way of resolution. Or, you know, justice.
"The following day, the suspect signed a statement promising never again to use a padlock on his girlfriend or abuse her in any other way," Gonzalez continued.
State authorities maintained that unless the unidentified woman was willing to press charges, there wasn't much they could do. But Gonzalez argued that they set a dangerous precedent by letting this woman's abuser go free without consequence.
"She was a victim of a crime for 12 years and neither the community nor authorities did anything about it. On the other hand, reaction was only lukewarm and insufficient when the incident was reported. The handling of this case didn't follow the law. Nobody acted against the aggressor," said Gonzalez.
Gonzalez continued that it sends a message to other abusers that they won't get in trouble if they're caught.
"It seems like authorities think that women can simply renounce their rights. It's like they're saying 'If she doesn't recognize the problem, we, as authorities, can't do anything about it,'" she said.