Women judges quashed rape verdict as alleged victim was 'too masculine'

Protesters lined the streets outside the courthouse in Ancona after the acquittals.

Rome (CNN)Hundreds of demonstrators protested outside an Italian court this week after it emerged that two men were acquitted of rape partly because the judges believed the alleged victim looked too "masculine."

In 2016, the two Peruvian men were convicted of raping a woman in the Italian city of Ancona in 2015.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was 20 years old at the time of the alleged attack and is also of Peruvian origin.
The ruling was subsequently thrown out by the Ancona appeals court, with the judges -- three women -- claiming that the woman's report was not credible, despite doctors confirming that her injuries were consistent with rape.
"It's a sentence that has shocked us, I was astonished when reading the motivation," Cinzia Molinaro, the woman's lawyer, told CNN.
The reasons behind the acquittal only emerged when the Italian supreme court annulled the verdict.
Molinaro said the judges overturned the initial ruling with a 22-page reasoning, claiming that the woman's account of the incident was not reliable as the men "didn't find her attractive, she was too masculine."
The judges added that one of the defendants had saved the woman's number in his phone as "Viking," and stated that the "photograph present in her file would appear to confirm this."
They also ruled that it was "not possible to exclude the possibility that it was" in fact the woman who had "organized the 'exuberant' evening."
The alleged victim claimed she was raped in a park in Ancona on March 9, 2015 by a man who was known to her, while another stood guard.
"That night she returned home and went to hospital only the day after," Molinaro said. "Doctors in A&E had to put 14 stitches in her vagina."