Women in jeans 'can't be raped'
Friday 12 February 1999
Italy's highest appeals court on Wednesday overturned a rape conviction against a 45-year-old driving instructor, saying there was not enough evidence that he raped an 18-year-old student.
In its ruling, the court said: "It is common knowledge... that jeans cannot even be partly removed without the effective help of the person wearing them... and it is impossible if the victim is struggling with all her might."
The man, who had denied rape charges, had been handed a two-year, 10- month sentence. His lawyers insisted the woman had consented to have sex with him and that there had been no evidence of violence.
Protests came from judges, lawyers and politicians across the political spectrum.
"The court's sentence contrasts with the principles of civil justice and is a worrying signal. It is a backwards-looking ruling which strikes at... the civil conscience of women and of the whole country," said Walter Veltroni, head of the Democrats of the Left party, the largest in the centre-left government.
Simonetta Sotgiu, a judge, said the ruling set justice back 30 years. She referred to a Sixties case in Sardinia in which a judge ruled a rape victim, who had been wearing jeans, had agreed to sex because "as is known, jeans are not easily removed". "Jeans again, like 30 years ago... Even then it was crazy," she said.
Six female members of parliament demonstrated in front of the lower house of parliament building yesterday, wearing jeans and holding signs that read: "Jeans: the alibi for rape".
"This sentence is unacceptable... It is a dangerous signal for all women in Italy and we will wear jeans until it is overturned," said Alessandra Mussolini, a deputy for the far-right National Alliance party.
Explaining the reasons behind its ruling, the court also said there was not enough evidence of rape because the woman had driven home after the incident and had waited several hours before telling her parents. Former Italian Justice Minister Filippo Mancuso defended the ruling: "The court did not say that in principle, being dressed in jeans means... there can be no violence. It ruled that [the first judge] should have weighed up the circumstances properly." (Reuters)
- 1 Ashya King missing: Police hunt five-year-old boy with brain tumour snatched from Southampton hospital by his parents
- 2 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
Ashya King missing: Police hunt five-year-old boy with brain tumour snatched from Southampton hospital by his parents
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
Californian drought is so severe it's 'causing the ground to move'
Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- < Previous
- Next >
£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...
£400 - £500 per day: Orgtel: Test Manager - Banking - West Yorkshire - £400-£5...
£19000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have be...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: JOB DESCRIPTION - NURSERY ROOM LEADER...