Court Verdict Sparks Outrage: The Victim Was Found To Be “Too Ugly”?

Italy’s Justice Ministry has ordered a preliminary inquiry into an appeals court ruling that overturned a rape verdict in part by arguing that the woman who was attacked was too ugly to be a credible rape victim, Time reported.

The ruling has sparked outrage in Italy, prompting a flash mob Monday outside the Ancona court, where protesters shouted “Shame!” and held up signs saying “indignation.”

According to WSBTV, the appeals sentence was handed down in 2017 — by an all-female panel — but the reasons behind it only emerged when Italy’s high court annulled it March 5 and ordered a retrial. The Court of Cassation said Wednesday its own reasons for ordering the retrial will be issued next month.

The Justice Ministry says two Peruvian men convicted in the 2015 assault successfully argued the woman was too “masculine” to be a victim.

Though the case occurred two years ago, the shocking ruling was brought to light on Monday after Italy’s highest appeal court ordered the decision be overturned and the case retried, The Guardian reports. Close to 200 people gathered in the town of Ancona to protest the original decision.

“It’s shameful, but to get almost 200 people at the protest was a miracle for Italy,” Cinzia Molinaro, the woman’s lawyer, told the outlet. “Fortunately, it shows that sensitivity towards such topics is becoming stronger.”

In 2015, two men were accused of raping a 22-year-old Peruvian woman, whose name has not been publicly released, the outlet said. They appeared in court for the first time in 2016 until the decision to acquit them was made by a group of all-female judges in 2017.

The three Ancona court judges claimed that the alleged victim’s story was not “credible” enough since she looked “too masculine” to be raped, according to thethis link opens in a new tab Italian wire service Ansa General News.

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