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.
It came after an Italian man’s sentence was cut in half 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.