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RIGHTS > Sex consensual as rape victim didn’t scream, Turkish court rules

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Hürriyet photo

Hürriyet photo

A court in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır has ruled that a rape victim had consensual sex with her assailant because she "did not scream” during the intercourse. 

E.B., a 40-year-old woman with mental disabilities, lost her husband in 2007 and had been living with her three mentally disabled children in a single-room shanty home in Diyarbakır's Ergani district when the district's deputy governor found out about her condition and placed her in care in 2009. E.B. was taken to a hospital for health examinations where it was discovered that she was eight months pregnant.  

E.B. and her 14-year-old son said she had been repeatedly raped by their 24-year-old neighbor, İbrahim T., for the past two years. 

The woman said she was too afraid to do anything about the ongoing rape. "When I said I did not want [to have sex with him], he said, 'I will kill you and your children if you refuse.' His family was wealthy, I couldn't say anything to anyone." 

A court arrested İbrahim T. after DNA samples that were taken from the baby girl E.B. gave birth to proved that he was the father. Prosecutors charged him with "coercion" and "numerous sexual assaults" and asked for a 17-year prison term. 

The court asked the forensics department to conduct a report on E.B. The report said she was 36 percent mentally disabled and that she could have fought to resist the rape but did not, meaning that the intercourse was consensual. Forensic officials based their report on the fact that E.B. did not scream while being sexually assaulted. 

The court convened on a day when its only female judge, Hatice Polat, was on leave and decided to release İbrahim T. after two years of arrest.

January/31/2012

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