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Italian man cleared of sexual assault because woman 'induced' him

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By Euronews  with ANSA
Prosecutors say the court's verdict is "illogical" and have appealed.
Prosecutors say the court's verdict is "illogical" and have appealed.   -   Copyright  Marco Alpozzi/LaPresse via AP, File

A young Italian man has been acquitted of sexual assault after a judge ruled that a drunk woman had provoked him through her behaviour.

The ruling overturns a 2019 court decision, which sentenced the man to more than two years in prison.

The two friends had been together in the toilet of a central Turin bar in May 2019, the city's Court of Appeal heard. The woman has always maintained she did not give consent.

But the judge said that her "excessive use of alcohol caused the young man to approach" and that her act of leaving the toilet door ajar and lingering there was "an invitation".

"Altered by an immoderate use of alcohol, [she] induced the approach of the young man who was waiting behind the door," the court stated.

The young man had admitted to undressing the girl, but the court also ruled that a broken zip on the woman's trousers was "old and worn out".

The ruling has been widely condemned by Italian politicians and women's rights groups.

League MP Laura Ravetto said the sentence was "spine-chilling" and "aberrant" while Democratic Party Senator Valeria Valente said the case was "particularly serious".

Five-Star Movement MP Maria Edera Spadoni added the verdict "sets the fight against gender violence back by light years".

Prosecutors say they have appealed the "illogical" decision to Italy's Court of Cassation.