Two men cleared of rape after judges thought the victim was 'too masculine' to be desirable
The ruling was unsealed after it was annulled by the Supreme Court Of Cassation, which had ordered a retrial and overturned the acquittal that was previously given to the men
Protestors were seen gathering in large numbers outside an appeals court in Ancona, Italy, on March 11 after a 2017 ruling was unsealed and revealed that two men had been cleared of rape charges because the judges had thought that the victim was "too masculine" to be desirable.
Women's rights groups organized the rally of around 200 people who all found the ruling outrageous because the judges believed that rapists wouldn't be able to rape someone just because the women were too masculine.
Italian wire service Ansa reported that the ruling was unsealed after it was annulled by the Supreme Court Of Cassation, the highest court in Italy, which had ordered a retrial and overturned the acquittal that was previously given to the men.
ITALY: 3 FEMALE judges acquitted 2 men of rape in 2017 because victim was "masculine" and "ugly. https://t.co/sutQLfJ2uy— Stevie González (@Stevie_Gonzalez) March 11, 2019
According to The Guardian, both the unidentified men were initially convicted in 2016 for raping the Peruvian-native woman. The victim's name was also not made public at the time under Italian law but the court did say that she was 22 years old when the alleged attack took place in 2015.
The unknown woman's lawyer, Cinzia Molinaro, told The Guardian that the two men had "spiked the woman’s drink with drugs after the group went to a bar following an evening class". She added: "Doctors said her injuries were consistent with rape and that there was a high level of benzodiazepines in her blood."
The two men were acquitted by three female judges, during their appeal in 2017, who wrote in the reasoning document that the story told by the victim was not credible because she looked like a man. They wrote that she had not appealed enough to have been raped or even pursued sexually.
Molinaro told The Guardian: "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. They also wrote that a photograph [of the woman] reflected this."
She also said that the judges' reasoning for the outrageous decision was what had caused the victim's lawyers to refer the case to the Supreme Court. The case will now be moving to an appeals court in Perugia, Italy. It is still unclear if the victim will be present at the retrial as Molinaro said that she moved back to her home country of Peru after she was outcast by the community in Ancona for reporting the incident to the authorities.
Two men were cleared of rape in Italy after judges ruled their victim was 'too masculine' and unattractive, it has been revealed.— American White (@AmericanWhiteHM) March 12, 2019
The two 22-year-old men were originally cleared in 2017, but the reason for their ruling was only made public last week... https://t.co/hwd1b8vjft