Man Cleared of Sexual Assault Charges Because Victim “Waited 30 Seconds Before Resisting”

An Italian court acquitted a man accused of sexually assaulting a flight attendant on the grounds that the latter waited 30 seconds before resisting him, according to what the British newspaper “ The Times ” reported.

Maria Teresa Manenti, the lawyer representing the flight attendant, remarked, “It feels as if we have gone back 30 years,” alluding to outdated laws that human rights activists have long advocated to reform.

The incidents occurred in 2018, when the flight attendant, whose identity was not revealed, entered the office of a union official at Malpensa International Airport (40 kilometers northwest of Milan) to discuss a discrimination case.

The lawyer explained that her client sat on a chair and began reading a document related to the case before the official closed his office door.

She noted that the official stood behind her client’s seat and began caressing her neck and chest, before reaching for her underwear. 

The woman, now 40, later testified in court that she was paralyzed by shock and fear for 20 to 30 seconds before she began to resist.

The hostess lost the case in 2022, before she appealed and lost again this week.

Attorney Manenti stated, “The judge ruled against my client because she did not react within 20 to 30 seconds, effectively implying her consent.”

She continued: “What the (Italian) law does not clearly state is that if consent is not given, this must be considered a sexual assault.”


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