The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

“Rape Is Less Severe. . . When the Woman Isn’t a Virgin”—So Say Five Male Judges

Feb 27, 2006

An Italian appeals court just dealt with a sordid affair. It found in favor of a man who had been convicted of raping a teenager–since the victim was not a virgin when she was raped!

The rapist, a 40-year-old man, appealed his conviction after being sentenced in 2001 to three years four months of prison for forcing sex on the 14-year-old daughter of the woman he lived with.

In 2003, a lower court turned down the rapist’s appeal, saying the rape interfered with the “harmonious development of the sexual life of the victim.” The higher appeals court could have continued this line of reasoning, taking into account not only the victim’s young age but also the rapist’s abuse of his authority in the family. But to the contrary, the judges considered the age of the young girl an aggravating circumstance . . . against her! They argued in fact that “from the sexual point of view, she was much more developed than one would normally expect from a girl of her age.” Therefore, the sexual abuse was less serious!

These judges employed the shocking and disgusting argument always used by rapists on trial throughout the world that the raped girl sought it and got what she deserved. In the past, rape was justified by a misogynist judge because the victim was supposedly flirtatious or wore a mini-skirt. Today, it’s because a teenager is “precocious.”

Thanks to this scandalous decision, the rapist got a reduced sentence, unless the court system is forced to reverse itself due to a giant outcry. The court decision did provoke protests and angry reactions, especially from women’s organizations, as it should have.