Two Buenos Aires judges are under fire today in Argentina for ruling that a child rapist should have his sentence reduced because the child had been previously sexually abused by his father.
The judges, Horacio Piombo and Benjamin Sal Llargues, argued that it was unlikely a child could be equally damaged twice by the same type of abuse. The judges also seemed to indicate that the crime was less deleterious because the child was gay and therefore, according to a quote from Piombo on local city news site Infobae,not as heavily scathed by the crime.
“[The victim] has a homosexual orientation and was already accustomed to those that abused him… He is gay, his sexuality is already defined. The abuse happened, but it wasn’t that harmful.”
Argentine gay rights groups have condemned the ruling as not only homophobic, but a complete aversion of justice for victims of sexual assault. Esteban Paulón, president of the Argentina Federation of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transgender (FALGBT), spoke out against the ruling as protests mounted in the capital city.
“We have still not left our stupor before this ruling of the Buenos Aires Court of Cassation that, giving up the most basic of judicial criteria, produces a lack of consequences and puts the victims in the place of suspicion.”
Infonews compiled a list of several occasions where Piombo has been a part of rulings where a perpetrator of sexual assault has had their sentence reduced. In 2004, a 20-year-old male was absolved of statutory rape charges because the 13-year-old with whom he had committed the act appeared to have already engaged in sexual activity. Sal Llargués was also a part of this ruling, as well as another in 2006 where a rapist had his sentence reduced because a psychiatrist’s report found him to be mentally ill.
In 2011, another man who raped his daughters had his sentence reduced by the pair because despite the fact that he had ejaculated inside of them, they had not contracted any STDs or become pregnant. Furthermore, points out Infonews, a music teacher who molested at least four girls between the ages of 6 and 9 had his sentence reduced from 40 to 25 years at the hand of Piombo.
Piombo has defended his position on Argentine radio show La Red, reported Clarin, where he argued that legal precedent justified the final decision.
“We are based in precedent. That is my world. The law is not a thing made especially for this case, it is for many cases.”
[Image via Spencer Platt/Getty Images]