Three female jurists acquitted two men because the woman looked ‘too masculine’ to be raped

Three female jurists acquitted two men because the woman looked ‘too masculine’ to be raped
Top Stories
An Italian appeals court — a panel of three female jurists — acquitted two men of rape in 2017, in part because the judges agreed with the defendants argument that the victim looked like a man, and therefore they could not have been attracted to her. Now that ruling has been overturned and a retrial has been ordered.

The reasoning behind the appeals court’s ruling, revealed Friday through the Italian Supreme Court’s retrial order, triggered outrage over the weekend. Hundreds of people on Monday protested outside the appeals court in Ancona, the city of 100,000 on Italy’s Adriatic coast, where the alleged rape occurred.

The case dates back to 2015, when a 22-year-old woman reported that she had been attacked. In 2016, the men were convicted — her injuries were, according to doctors, consistent with rape, and that her blood showed a high level of benzodiazepines, a type of tranquilizer, seemingly backing up her lawyer’s claim that her drinks had been spiked at a bar after an evening class.

But in 2017, the appeals court in Ancona overturned the conviction, after the female judges agreed with the defendants’ argument that the victim looked “too masculine” after seeing a photo of her. The judges wrote that it was “not possible to exclude the possibility that it was” the alleged victim who organized the evening at which she says she was drugged and raped. The judges noted that one man “didn’t even like the girl, to the point of having stored her number in his phone under the nickname ‘Viking’, an allusion to an anything but feminine figure, rather a masculine one.”

Oggi ad #Ancona flashmob #siamotuttiVikingo contro la sentenza della Corte di Appello che ha assolto due stupratori perché la vittima sarebbe troppo mascolina #vergogna #indignate #bastaviolenzasulledonne

The victim was not present at the appeals court hearing because she had returned to her native Peru. The victim’s lawyer, however, called the judges’ reasoning “disgusting,” and filed an appeal to the Supreme Court.

“It was disgusting to read; the judges expressed various reasons for deciding to acquit them, but one was because the [defendants] said they didn’t even like her, because she was ugly,” Cinzia Molinaro, the woman’s lawyer, told the Guardian. “They also wrote that a photograph [of the woman] reflected this.”

The case will now be reheard by a court in Perugia, a city about 80 miles away from Ancona.

The case brings to question the treatment of rape victims in Italy. Molinaro said her client moved back to Peru because of the how the community in Ancona reacted when she came forward against the two men.

According to a 2015 Italian National Institute of Statistics report, nearly 1 in 3 Italian women have disclosed physical or sexual violence, and 5 percent of Italian women have reported being the victim of rape or attempted rape. Rape in Italy is more commonly reported by foreign women than by Italian women.

Rebel Network, the Italian women’s rights group behind Monday’s protest, tweeted, “Rape does not fulfill a desire for pleasure, but an abominable hatred and contempt for the victim. It does not depend on how feminine you are, but on the hatred inside the rapist.”

In this occasional series, Jordan Peterson writes from his international speaking tour for his book, 12 Rules for Life

Comment Nation: Stephen LeDrew discusses the aftermath of Jody Wilson-Raybould s testimony and the state of the PMO

Let Me Illustrate: Gary Clement s take on the SNC-Lavalin scandal that s embroiled the Liberal Party

Whether or not any laws were broken is not the issue. The standard expected of public officials is not that they should merely avoid committing crimes
Read more on National Post
News Topics :
ROME Italy s justice ministry has ordered a preliminary inquiry into an appeals court ruling that overturned a rape verdict on the grounds that the victim was too ugly...
Feminists and legal observers in Spain have expressed outrage at what they see as patriarchal justice during the trial of five men accused of gang raping an 18 year old woman during...
Police in northern India have arrested three men for brutally attacking the mother of a rape victim after she refused to withdraw her complaint, an official said Friday, as investigators...
Top Stories
Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter, Canada’s oldest rape crisis centre, has been stripped of city funding after refusing to rescind its policy of only serving female born women. In a...
VANCOUVER A transgender woman whose case against Canada s oldest rape crisis centre was dismissed by the courts says she hopes the City of Vancouver s decision to refuse...