Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Outrage after victim deemed too ugly to be raped in ruling

Outrage after victim deemed too ugly to be raped in ruling

Outrage erupted shortly thereafter, and the Ancona court saw dozens of protesters carrying signs reading, "Stop justifying male violence on women", according to CNN.

Many Italians staged a protest at the front an appeal court in Ancona on Monday, over the acquittal of two men who allegedly raped a lady in 2016.

The appeals sentence was handed down in 2017 - by an all-female panel - but the reasons behind it only emerged publicly when Italy's high court annulled it on March 5 and ordered a retrial.

The judges ruled the alleged victim, 22 at the time, was "too masculine" and the men were not attracted to her.

Italian women's right group, Rebel Network, which organised the protests, tweeted: "Rape does not fulfil a desire for pleasure, but an abominable hatred and contempt for the victim".

The judges stated that said the woman's story was not believable as she was "too masculine" and that the men didn't find her attractive. "It does not depend on how feminine on how you are".


The woman had claimed one of the men raped her while the other stood guard after they had spiked her drink with drugs. According to doctors, her injuries were consistent with rape and her blood contained high levels of benzodiazepines, a type of tranquilizer often used as a date rape drug.

The men were convicted in 2016 by a court of first instance for the attack, which took place in 2015.

The judges, however, said it could not be ruled out that the alleged victim planned the events surrounding the alleged rape. Judges said the pair "didn't even like the girl", with her alleged rapist storing her number in his phone under "Viking", an allusion to her "masculine" frame.

The court pointed to a photograph of the woman as evidence to "confirm" that she was too unattractive to be a target of sexual assault.

According to a 2015 Italian National Institute of Statistics report, almost 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.

The case will be reheard by a court in Perugia at at date yet to be determined.

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