Italy overturns rape verdict; you’ll never believe why

Italy overturns rape verdict; you’ll never believe why
Palace of Justice, Rome (Image via Wikipedia)

Rape is a serious matter. While I’m disinclined to agree with Democrats that a person accused of sexual assault should be assumed guilty until proven innocent, as they argued during the Brett Kavanaugh fiasco, I do believe that the grounds for overturning a rape conviction need to be rock-solid.

I’m not quite sure, therefore, that I can accept the validity of the argument that prompted an appeals court in Italy to set free two Peruvian men convicted of rape in 2015. The argument in a nutshell was that the woman who claimed she was attacked was “too ugly to be a credible rape victim.”

As the Associated Press notes:

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 Court of Cassation said Wednesday its own reasons for ordering the retrial will be issued next month.

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…In part of the ruling, the court noted that the suspects had found her unattractive and too “masculine” to be a credible rape victim.

Cinzia Molinaro, a lawyer for the victim, said her appeal to the Cassation contested a host of procedural problems with the acquittal verdict but said she had also cited the “absolute unacceptability” of the Italian court’s reference to the victim’s physical appearance.

Molinaro added that the victim, also from Peru, had suffered such severe genital trauma in the rape that she required stitches upon returning home.

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer and regular contributor to "Liberty Unyielding."