Italians are outraged after an appeals court overturned a rape verdict in part because the judges found the victim was "too ugly to be raped."
Italians took to the streets to protest the ruling outside the Ancona court on Monday. Italy's Justice Ministry has ordered a preliminary inquiry into the appeals court's decision.
Two Peruvian men were convicted of the 2015 rape of a Peruvian woman in Ancona, but a panel of all female judges overturned the verdict and freed the defendants.
The appeals court ruling was handed down in 2017 - but it only emerged publicly when Italy's high court annulled the ruling on March 5 and ordered a retrial.
The Court of Cessation said Wednesday its reasons for ordering the retrial will be issued next month.
The appeals court believed the defendants' defense that the woman was "too ugly" and "too masculine" for them to rape her. One of the men said he found the victim unattractive and he saved her number under the name "Viking" in his cell phone.
Cinzia Molinaro, the lawyer for the victim, said her appeal to the Cessation court contested a plethora of problems with the overturned verdict. She cited the "absolute unacceptability" of the appeals court's reference to the victim's physical appearance.
Protests also broke out earlier this month when an appeals court drastically reduced the sentence for a man who admitted killing his partner.
The court found that the man killed his partner after he experienced an "emotional storm" of jealousy (a defense known in the U.S. as a "crime of passion").
Critics said the defendant's reduced sentence sanctioned honor killings.
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