Italian judge acquits man of sexual assault 'because woman did not scream'

Chloe Chaplain
Acquitted: The judge said the alleged victim didn't shout enough: Shutterstock

Italian justice officials are investigating after a man was found not guilty of sexual assault because the woman did not scream.

The accuser had said her colleague had forced her into sexual acts but a court in Turin granted him an acquittal because it deemed her saying “enough” was not a strong enough reaction.

Following the controversial ruling, which sparked outrage across Italy, the woman is facing charges for slander.

According to the BBC, the female hospital worker said the defendant had forced her into sexual acts and threatened to stop providing her with work if she did not comply.

When she was questioned about why she had not responded to the advances more strongly, she said: "Sometimes saying no is enough but maybe I did not use the force and violence that in reality I should have used, but that is because with people who are too strong, I just freeze."

The court heard that the women had been a victim of repeated abuse as a child by her father.

But the judge said she had "betrayed the emotion that a violation of her person had to inspire in her.

They described her account as "unlikely" and said the assault – which she alleges took place in 2011 - "did not exist”.

Italian Justice Minister Andrea Orlando has now launched an investigation into the case.

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