Italy’s Justice Ministry has ordered a preliminary inquiry into an appeals court ruling that overturned a rape verdict in part by arguing that the woman who was attacked was too ugly to be a credible rape victim.
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.
Two Peruvian men were initially convicted of the 2015 rape of a Peruvian woman in Ancona, but the Italian appeals court overturned the verdict and absolved them, finding that she was not a credible witness. In part of the ruling, the court noted that the suspects had found her unattractive and too “masculine” to be a credible rape victim. The appeals sentence quoted one of the suspects as saying he found the woman unattractive and had her listed as “Viking” on his cellphone.
The woman, who has since returned to Peru, had suffered such genital trauma in the rape that she required stitches.