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Judges Acquit Accused Rapist, Say Victim Wanted Sex As She Wore Red Underwear

Judges Acquit Accused Rapist, Say Victim Wanted Sex As She Wore Red Underwear

The ruling sparked a major protest all over Peru with many women wearing red underwear on their legs in solidarity with the victim.

Representative Image Source: Serghei Turcanu/Getty Creative Images

Trigger warning: Sexual assault

In a ridiculous incident, judges have ruled that a woman who wore red underwear on the night of her alleged assault could not have been raped because she wanted to have sex.  The South Zone Transitory Supraprovincial Collegiate Criminal Court in Ica, Peru, nullified claims of rape filed by a woman because her wearing red underwear meant that she was "prepared or willing" to have sex with the defendant. According to Daily Mail, the judges—Ronald Anayhuaman Andia, Diana Jurado Espino, and Lucy Castro Chacaltana—ruled that the victim was not shy or reserved as she claimed and acquitted the defendant solely using the underwear as evidence. According to them, the red underwear meant she was willing to have sex. 

 



 

 

"The supposed personality (shy) represented by her does not relate to the undergarment she used on the day of the incident," the judges stated. "This type of women’s underwear is normally used on special occasions leading to moments of intimacy, which gives the impression that the woman prepared or willing to have sexual relations with the accused." The incident involving a 22-year-old accused man and the 20-year-old victim came to light in January 2019 but things came to a head after the controversial decision which had the whole country up in arms. According to reports, the victim claimed she went to the party with the accused after he asked her to accompany him to collect some official documents. However, she fell unconscious sometime during the night only to wake up naked in his bed the next morning. The accused pleaded innocence claiming that the allegations weren't true and that they were only an act of "revenge".

 

 



 

 

People have stepped out in droves to protest the court's decision as women across the nation stepped out asking for justice, including in the capital Lima. Many women arrived sporting red undergarments around their legs to stand in solidarity with the aggrieved. Reports say protesters decried the judgment with messages on placards and signs that read “Lace is just lace, it's not an insinuation" while another said: "Listen up, judges. Don't use my underwear to justify rape." Protesters marched the streets singing "A Rapist in Your Path" - a song that has become a rallying cry for women's rights having been used in protests across Turkey, France, Spain, and the United Kingdom as well as across Latin America. "The fault was not mine, nor where I was, nor what I was wearing," the lyrics read. "The patriarchy is a judge that judges us for being born." Protesters also bellowed out the repeated refrain "The rapist is you! The rapist is you!" as a stand against victim-blaming seen regularly in cases of rape.

 



 

 

 



 

 

As protests intensified, Peru's Public Ministry issued a statement a day later urging for a fresh trial to take place in a different court. "The eradication and punishment of violence against women can only be possible with an impartial Judicial Power that is aware of its fundamental role in order to eradicate rape and discrimination based on gender," the statement said.  The Ombudsman's Office added that it will present a request ordering that a new court reinvestigate the case "with better objectivity." In the wake of the court decision, Human Rights Coordinator for Ica brought together several local judicial bodies to take a course on gender bias.

 



 

 


 
 

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