Italy outraged as court finds victim 'masculine' to be raped

Women rights defenders gathered at the court of Ancona in central Italy and accused the justice system of misogyny and a "witch hunt".

Published: 13th March 2019 07:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th March 2019 07:10 PM   |  A+A-

The rape of three minors in a single day has shaken Rajasthan - a state that records one of the highest rate of crimes against women in the country.

Image used for representational purpose only

By AFP

ROME: Women's rights defenders protested outside an Italian court on Monday after it emerged that two men accused of rape were cleared by female judges because the alleged victim looked "masculine".

"For shame!" shouted about 200 demonstrators gathered at the court of Ancona in central Italy, accusing the justice system of misogyny and a "witch hunt", according to video footage posted by Italian media. The reasons behind the 2017 acquittal were only made public on Friday when the country's highest court of appeal ordered a retrial, according to the Cronoche Ancona daily.

The men, both Peruvians, had initially been convicted in 2016 of raping a Peruvian woman in 2015, but the Ancona appeals court threw out the charges, saying the woman's story was not believable.

The woman had claimed one of the men raped her while the other stood guard after they had spiked her drink with drugs. Doctors said her injuries were consistent with rape and found traces of a date rape drug in her blood.

But the judges ruled it was "not possible to exclude the possibility that it was" the alleged victim who "organised the 'exuberant' evening," according to the reports. They said the man accused of rape "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". "The photograph present in her file would appear to confirm this," they added. The case will be reheard from scratch by a court in Perugia at at date yet to be determined.

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