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In a move that has sent shockwaves through the Italian press, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that gang rapists do not have to be sent to jail when found guilty.The Supreme Court was supporting the decision of a judge in a lower court, Andrea Vogt of the Guardian reports. The judge in the constitutional court had annulled the jail sentence of two 19 year olds who had raped a 16 year old in Rome.
The ruling suggested house arrest in place of jail.
The move was attacked from both sides of the political spectrum, with Berlusconi-linked Mara Carfagna, formerly an equalities minister, saying “This sends the wrong message”.
One newspaper editorial called the move “a step backwards for civilisation”, while many criticised it as a reflection of the male-dominated Italian culture.
Linkiesta reports that 1 in 3 Italian women between the age of 16 and 70 have been the victim of male aggression at some point in their life.
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