Victim virgin, sentenced reduced
A court has ruled that a man who raped the 14-year-old daughter of his girlfriend can seek to have his sentenced reduced because the girl was already sexually active.india Updated: Feb 18, 2006 16:56 IST
Italy's highest court has ruled that a man who raped the 14-year-old daughter of his girlfriend can seek to have his sentenced reduced on mitigating circumstances that the girl was already sexually active, news reports said.
Yesterday's ruling provoked outcry across Italy and prompted other justices on the Court of Cassation to issue a statement saying the ruling was wrong and would only ever be cited as a bad example of a high court decision, the ANSA news agency reported.
The case concerns Marco T., who was convicted by a Cagliari, Sardinia court in 2001 of sexual violence and threats against the 14-year-old daughter of his live-in girlfriend and sentenced to three years and four months in prison, ANSA said.
Cagliari judges refused his request to have the sentenced reduced on mitigating circumstances that the crime was less serious because the girl had already had several sexual partners.
However, Italy's high court said the Cagliari tribunal was wrong to reject the request and said the Cagliari judges should re-evaluate the decision because the girl "since the age of 13 had had many sexual relations with men of every age and it's right to assume that at the time of the encounter with the suspect her personality, from a sexual point of view, was much more developed than what one might normally expect from a girl of her age," ANSA said, citing the decision.
ANSA reported what it said was a statement from other high court judges saying the ruling would be "buried" and would only be cited "as a negative example of how a sentence should never be written or reasoned.