This content is not available in your region

Too 'ugly' to be raped — Italy's top court opens probe into sentence

Access to the comments Comments
By Cristina Abellan Matamoros  with ANSA
El palacio de la Corte de Casación en Roma, Italia. 27 de marzo de 2015.
El palacio de la Corte de Casación en Roma, Italia. 27 de marzo de 2015.   -   Copyright  REUTERS/ Remo Casilli

Italy's top court has opened a probe into a sentence by an Ancona appeals court that found the victim in a rape case was "too ugly to be raped," according to Italian news agency ANSA.

The sentence, which was issued by three female judges, said the rape of a 22-year-old Peruvian woman by two men was not “credible” because of her “masculine appearance”.

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

The victim's name was not made public under Italian law.

According to Italian media, the judges made their decision based on a photograph of the woman and because one of the defendants registered her number on his mobile phone under the name "Viking".

The Supreme Court of Cassation cancelled this sentence and ordered a new appeals trial. The case will be reheard by a court in Perugia.

Cinzia Molinaro, the lawyer of the victim, told Euronews her client was back in Peru because of the "isolation" that ensued following the first trial.

"After her alleged abusers were acquitted in the appeals trial, the situation got even worse. The (victim's) mother had to leave Ancona because of the shame she felt and went back to Peru," the lawyer said.

The Peruvian woman's mother had since returned to Italy but had moved away from Ancona, she added.

It came after an Italian man's sentence was halved earlier this month when a Bologna appeals court ruled that he murdered his girlfriend in a "passionate rage".

Both of these cases sparked anger among women's' groups who called for better legislation to protect women from violence.