A family was accused of pedophilia for an error in the format of dates by the police; defamation and defamation in society

False accusations can have disastrous consequences for innocent people. Francisco R., a 59-year-old Spaniard, spent a day like any other when local authorities raided his home in search of evidence for a pedophilia case.

Although the authorities seemed to have the case under control, it took them nearly a year to realize that a mistake had been made with the date the crime alert from the United States was issued.

The Spanish authorities were notified of an IP that had posted child pornography on Facebook on October 11, 2016, which in the date format used in the U.S. (month/day/year) is represented as 10/11/2020; the problem is that Spanish agents interpreted this date as November 10 (in day/month/year format).

In addition to this error it is worth to remember that an IP address is a dynamic data, which means that it may change every time a device connects to the Internet. The IP address reported by U.S. authorities was assigned to a device in Francisco R.’s home at a time other than that indicated by the U.S. investigation, which caused the unfortunate confusion. In other words, they investigated the right IP address in the wrong date.

None of the actors involved in the investigation noticed this serious mistake; they may not even read the original report, written in English. This neglect caused severe emotional damage to the affected family, who even face the scorn of society given the nature of the crime with which they were linked. Consequently, the family sued the Spanish state for damages and prejudices, demanding a minimum compensation of 27,000 Euros.

The demands of the affected family are not unjustified. On the day of the break-in, police showed up at the home of those affected along with a court order, beginning to analyze mobile devices and personal computers. After hours of searching and finding nothing suspicious, the authorities went looking for Sergio, the eldest son of the family, who was at work.

Once they arrived at Sergio’s work, authorities confiscated his phone and computer, as well as inspecting his car in the presence of his boss and co-workers. This led to personal and labor conflicts for the family, who at this point had no idea about the crime they were accused of. After the embarrassing incident the family hired a law firm, which discovered the mistake of the Spanish authorities after a request for information before the court.

The case is now in the hands of the Ministry of Justice, which must provide fair compensation for those affected.