Turkey: Dog rape suspect controversially freed by animal-abasing judge

A suspect of raping a dog was acquitted of all charges Dec. 30 in a trial that drew much attention after its judge abased the animal who was the victim of the violence, calling her “a mongrel,” prompting a social media campaign.

The verdict may trigger more outcry as the defendant, identified only as H.Y., was not present at the hearing, which was largely attended by animal rights groups, nongovernmental organizations, lawyers representing various bars, as well as main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmakers Melda Onur and Mahmut Tanal.

The suspect, who was facing between 10 months and four years in jail for the crime, had denied all accusations of sexual abuse during the eventful first hearing, despite video evidence collected by security cameras.

Stressing that the footage was widely spread on the Internet, activists denounced the verdict as the “reflection into justice of the state’s patriarchal policies legitimizing rape.”

“The fact that the living creature victimized in the case is not a human does not change the fact that it is a crime. [Animal rape] is a reality that has long been silenced in Turkey, but [the verdict] proves the mindset that exposes not the rapist, but the victim, persists,” the statement said…