Is there a minimum amount of time that someone needs to raped in order for it to be considered ‘severe’? Well, apparently so in Switzerland.
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Hundreds of protesters have been demonstrating outside a Swiss court after a judge (a female judge, no less) reduced a rapist’s prison sentence, ruling that the victim’s 11-minute ordeal was ‘relatively short.’
As per MailOnline, the attack was carried out by two Portuguese nationals, aged 17 and 32, on a 33-year-old woman outside the entrance to her flat in Basel in February last year.
The youth has not yet been sentenced by the juvenile court, but the older rapist, named only as Joao P., had his jail term cut from 51 months to 36 months on appeal by Justice Liselotte Henz. This means he’ll be out soon for time already served.
Protesters are angry not only because of the factor involving the ‘relatively short’ duration of the attack, but also because of Justice Henz’s claims that the woman ‘sent out signals’ and had been ‘playing with fire’ before the assault (she was seen going into the nightclub toilet with another man earlier in the night).
Justice Henz found the older man was only at ‘moderate fault’ after the woman had met the two men in a Basel nightclub. She also noted that the victim had not sustained any ‘permanent physical injuries’. Jeez.
Around 500 (mainly female) demonstrators stood outside the courthouse this week for an 11-minute silence in solidarity with the victim, holding up banners which said: ’11 minutes are 11 minutes too much!’
The victim’s lawyer says:
This is disappointing and incomprehensible.
A “no” is a “no” and must be accepted – regardless of the victim’s lifestyle. I will first wait for the written verdict and then continue looking.
Both right wing and left wing politicians in Switzerland have also condemned the ruling.
Marcel Columb, of the Basel Social Democrats, tweeted:
A four year sentence was already mild, but now to imply the woman was complicity due to her behaviour to someone uninvolved with the crime is unbearable. What a sign for all victims of sexualised violence.
Jeromie Repond, from the right-wing Swiss People’s Party, asked:
What kind of society do we live in?
So yeah, seems the overwhelming majority of people find the judge’s decision quite shocking. Especially given her reasons for lessening the sentence; that the duration of the rape was ‘relatively short’, and that the woman was apparently of a promiscuous nature. I mean suppose this guy suffered from premature ejaculation? Would he have received no sentence at all? Not really a great deterrent for prospective rapists out there, is it?
Not a great look for Justice Liselotte Henz (above), or the Swiss justice system in general for that matter. Let’s hope that the pressure and backlash from the public prompts them to address the issue.
To watch a boyfriend show up in the nick of time to kick the shit out of a guy who was trying to rape his girlfriend, click HERE. That’s more like it.