Hundreds protests Swiss court as rapist's sentence reduced as victim 'played with fire'

Posted on

Hundreds protest after Swiss rapist’s sentence is reduced by the female judge because the sex assault ‘only lasted 11 minutes’

  • 32-year-old’s rape sentence was reduced from 51 months to 36 months by judge
  • Justice Liselotte Henz found that the 11-minute attack had been ‘relatively short’
  • She also noted the victim ‘sent out signals’ and ‘played with fire’ prior to attack
  • 500 protesters gathered outside appeals in court in Basel at demo on Sunday  

Hundreds of protesters have demonstrated outside a Swiss court after a judge reduced a rapist’s prison sentence, ruling that the victim’s 11-minute ordeal was ‘relatively short.’ 

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 the city of Basel in February last year.  

The youth has not yet been sentenced by the juvenile court, but the older perpetrator, named only as Joao P., had his jail term cut from 51 months to 36 months on appeal, meaning he will be released within days for time already served.

Factors which went to that judgment, including that the woman ‘sent out signals’ and had been ‘playing with fire’ before the assault, have incensed the public. 

A Portuguese national named only as Joao P., 32, had his sentence cut from 51 months to 36 months by the appeals court in Basel

A Portuguese national named only as Joao P., 32, had his sentence cut from 51 months to 36 months by the appeals court in Basel

Around 500 mainly female demonstrators stood outside the courthouse on Sunday to observe a symbolic 11-minute silence in solidarity with the victim, holding up banners which said: '11 minutes are 11 minutes too much!'

Around 500 mainly female demonstrators stood outside the courthouse on Sunday to observe a symbolic 11-minute silence in solidarity with the victim, holding up banners which said: ’11 minutes are 11 minutes too much!’

Around 500 mainly female demonstrators stood outside the courthouse on Sunday to observe a symbolic 11-minute silence in solidarity with the victim, holding up banners which said: ’11 minutes are 11 minutes too much!’ 

Others held signs which referenced the judgment, saying ‘there is no such thing as a short rape’ and that it was the judiciary which was ‘sending out the wrong signals.’  

The rape took place after the woman met the two men in a nightclub in the city.

Justice Liselotte Henz found the older man was only at ‘moderate fault.’

She explained that the rape had been ‘relatively short’ and the victim had not sustained any permanent physical injuries.

The judge also claimed the victim had ‘sent signals out to the men,’ referring to her earlier behaviour in the nightclub when she was seen going into the toilet with another man. 

Justice Henz suggested the woman had been ‘playing with fire’ in the lead up to the attack outside her apartment.

A lawyer for the victim said she was shocked by the appeal court’s verdict.  

The victim’s lawyer said: ‘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.’ 

The perpetrators are likely to be deported from Switzerland once their sentences are finalized.

Demonstrators outside the courthouse in Basel on Sunday

Demonstrators outside the courthouse in Basel on Sunday

The reduced sentence has been widely condemned by politicians on the left and right.

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?’

Fellow SPP member, Pascal Messerli, said the sentence was not enough, arguing the victim would have to live with the ordeal her entire life.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *