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Italian officials order inquiry into acquittal based on rape victim's masculine appearance

16 March 2019

At least 200 people protested outside of a court house in Italy after it was revealed that rape charges against two men were thrown out when judges deemed their alleged victim as "too masculine" to be the subject of attraction.

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

The woman's lawyer, Cinzia Molinaro, said she took her client's case to the Supreme Court after reading the ruling.

Demonstrators gathered at the court of Ancona in central Italys houted "for shame!" and accused the Italian justice system of misogyny and a "witch hunt", according to video footage from Italian media.

Rebel Network, the Italian women's rights group behind Monday's protest, tweeted, "Rape does not fulfill a desire for pleasure, but an abominable hatred and contempt for the victim".

Anger in Italy as men cleared of rape because victim was 'too masculine'
Protests held after two men cleared of rape because woman was 'too masculine and unattractive'

FoxNews.com reported the unnamed victim is of Peruvian origin.

But during the 2017 appeal, they were acquitted by three female judges who wrote in their reasoning document that the woman's story was not credible because she looked like a man and therefore was not appealing enough to have been raped or pursued sexually. "It does not depend on how feminine on how you are". Both men were convicted of rape in 2016. Doctors said her injuries were consistent with rape, and they had found traces of a date rape drug.

The judges, however, said it could not be ruled out that the alleged victim planned the events surrounding the alleged rape. The judges noted that one man "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 court pointed to a photograph of the woman as evidence to "confirm" that she was too unattractive to be a target of sexual assault.

After a couple of mixed reports about the case, a new court proceeding has now been put in place.

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Italian officials order inquiry into acquittal based on rape victim's masculine appearance