Thursday , January 28 2021

Protests in Ireland after thong underwear cited as consent sign on trial for rape



Protests erupted in Ireland this week after panties were cited as a sign of consent to a rape trial.

On Saturday, a 27-year-old man was unanimously dismissed as innocent by a jury of raping a 17-year-old woman, according to NPR. The decision provoked anger in the country.

During the trial at the Central Criminal Court in Cork, defense counsel Elizabeth O'Connell said in her closing statement that the accuser wore an underwear.

"The evidence excludes the possibility that she was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone? You have to see how she dressed," said O'Connell, according to the Irish Examiner. "She was wearing a thong with a lace front."

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The underwear in question was shown to jurors, AFP said.

The protests took place in Dublin, Cork and Belfast, Northern Ireland. Women and men held signs with thong underwear on them with the hashtag "#ThisIsNotConsent".

Irish lawmakers also commented on the case, including Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.

It does not matter what you wear, no matter where you went, who you went with or what you took – whether it was drug or alcohol, "Varadkar said.

Ruth Coppinger, a member of parliament in Ireland, took out thong underwear on Tuesday while talking to people in parliament.

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"It may seem embarrassing to show a pair of thongs in this incongruous scenario," she said. "But the reason I'm doing it – how do you think a rape victim or a woman feels in the incongruous scenario of her panties being shown in court?" she continued.

Coppinger said tans and fake clothes were used in court to "discredit women who have the courage to go to court."

The government is reviewing "rape trial procedures".


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