Swiss protest court ruling reducing rapist’s sentence

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BERLIN (AP) — Hundreds of people protested Sunday in front of a Swiss appeals court that had last month reduced the prison sentence of a rapist, arguing that the rape lasted only 11 minutes and that the victim had not been severely injured, local media reported.

The mainly female protesters in front of the Basel courthouse held up banners and shouted “11 minutes are 11 minutes too much!” They decried the court’s ruling which had lowered the 33-year-old defendant’s prison sentence from 4 years and three months to three years, the online news site 20minuten.ch reported.

In last month’s ruling, the judge also said the female rape victim had sent out “certain signals,” Swiss media reported. A spokeswoman for the court refused to further explain that statement by the judge.

The rape took place last year in February after a visit to a nightclub. The woman was raped by the 33-year-old and his 17-year-old companion, who is currently still being tried in a Swiss juvenile court. Neither the victim’s nor the accused men’s identities were revealed.

A lawyer for the victim said she was shocked by the appeal court’s verdict, which appeared to partially blame the victim for the rape.

The judge had announced the verdict in the courtroom last month but a written ruling will only be published in a few weeks, the court said.

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