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Man jailed for refusing to take shower

August 5, 2011

A smelly shepherd who refused to wash before having sex with his wife was guilty of raping her, an Italian court said today in a bizarre ruling.
Judges in the country’s highest appeal court said that the 51-year-old, named only as Mario C, should not have been cleared of the sex attack on his wife Lucia.

They passed their ruling after studying court reports which described how Mario had a habit of ‘returning from tending sheep in the fields and imposing sex on his wife without cleaning himself up beforehand.’

The case was initially heard by a court in his home town of Catania on the Italian island of Sicily and he was initially given a nine-year jail sentence in 2007.An appeal from his lawyers later reduced that sentence to two years, downgrading the crime from rape to maltreatment and violent behaviour.But the Supreme Court, which sits in Rome and has the final say on all convictions and rules on points of law, dismissed that judgement.

It said that, as Mario’s failure to ‘use even a minimal amount of soap and have a wash when he returned from work despite his wife’s request for him to wash’ amounted to rape, the original conviction should stand.The judges added that as he would also ‘hold her down and ignore her requests, the sexual acts were forced by the strength of the man, therefore they are considered violent.’

It is not the first time that the Italian Supreme Court has raised eyebrows with its rulings.

Last year, it said a husband could divorce his wife after she ‘thought about’having an affair, although she did not betray him.While ten years ago, judges ruled a woman wearing tight jeans must have been a willing rape participant because her attacker could not have pulled them down without her help.
In another ruling, the judges said that ‘patting or pinching a woman’s bottom was OK as long as it was sudden and isolated’.
And four years ago, they said it was OK for a married woman to lie to police to cover up an affair and protect her honour.

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