Judges said alleged victim’s story was not credible enough because she was unattractive
'About 200 people protested outside a court of appeal in the Italian city of Ancona after it was revealed that two men were cleared of rape charges partly because the alleged victim looked “too masculine” to be a target of attraction.
The reasons behind the 2017 ruling came to light only on Friday, when Italy’s highest appeal court scrapped the lower court’s verdict and ordered a retrial.
The men had been convicted of raping a woman of Peruvian origin, who was 22 at the time of the attack in 2015, by a court of first instance in 2016. Her name was not made public under Italian law.
They were then acquitted by the Ancona appeals court, with the judges’ reasoning document including a passage that said the woman’s story was not credible enough as she resembled a man and was therefore unappealing.
The judges – who were all female – drew their conclusions from a photograph of the woman and because the defendants said they were not attracted to her, with one registering the victim’s number in his mobile phone under the name “Viking”.
“I read this sentence in 2017 and that’s why we referred it to the supreme court,” Cinzia Molinaro, the woman’s lawyer, told the Guardian.'
Read more: Italian protests over men cleared of rape because woman was 'too masculine'