John Poulos jailed for 42 years for femicide of Colombian DJ

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American man John Poulos has been sentenced to more than 42 years in prison by a Colombian court, after he was found guilty of aggravated femicide in the killing of a young Colombian DJ named Valentina Trespalacios.

In Colombia, femicide — the killing of a woman because of her gender — is considered a more serious crime than homicide. Under Colombian law, femicide is often punished with a higher penalty.

The killing of Trespalacios occurred in Bogotá in January 2023, and has since captured public attention in Colombia.

According to accounts from her family and lawyers who took her case, Trespalacios had been in a romantic relationship with Poulos since 2021.

Colombian DJ named Valentina Trespalacios.
Colombian DJ named Valentina Trespalacios.

In a statement after the court ruling on Tuesday, the Office of the Attorney General of Colombia said its prosecutors had proven that Poulos struck and suffocated his partner and tried to hide the body in a suitcase.

The judge imposed a prison sentence of 42 years and eight months – about five years less than what prosecutors had requested.

Poulos has also been prohibited from approaching or attempting to communicate with Trespalacios’ family for 20 years, and the judge ordered that he be expelled from Colombia once he completes his sentence.

Poulos’ defence team has said it will appeal the judgement. It had argued that Poulos was innocent of femicide and that he should instead be tried for homicide, which would carry a lesser sentence.

The victim’s legal team, meanwhile, celebrated the sentence, saying it recognises that Trespalacios was a victim of various types of violence.

Source: CNN.

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