The Italian Justice Ministry has ordered a preliminary investigation into an appeals court ruling by all-female judges which overturned a rape verdict by arguing in part that the woman who was attacked was too ugly to be a credible rape victim, according to The Star.

The ruling has sparked outrage in Italy, prompting a flash mob Monday outside the Ancona court, where protesters shouted “Shame!” and held up signs saying “indignation.”

The appeals sentence was handed down in 2017 — by an all-female panel — but the reasons behind it only emerged publicly when Italy’s high court annulled it on March 5 and ordered a retrial. The Court of Cassation said Wednesday its own reasons for ordering the retrial will be issued next month. –The Star

Two Peruvian men were initially convicted in 2015 of raping a 20-year-old Peruvian woman in Ancona – however the Italian appeals court overturned the verdict, absolving the men. In their decision, the judges ruled that the men “didn’t find her attractive,” and that “she was too masculine.

A lawyer for the victim, Cinzia Molinaro, said that the woman’s appeal to the Court of Cassation cited the “absolute unacceptability” of the Italian court’s decision to refer to the victim’s physical appearance. 

The appeals court quoted one of the suspects as saying he had listed the woman as a “Viking” on his cellphone, adding that the “photograph present in her file would appear to confirm this.”

The woman, who has since returned to Peru, required 14 stitches in her vagina after the attack. 

“She had confused memories of what exactly happened during the night because she was drugged,” said Molinaro, adding that doctors had confirmed the presence of a “date rape” drug in her blood. 

“I don’t remember how it all started, but I remember I shouted ‘enough, enough’” the woman reportedly told police. 

In 2016, one of the accused rapists was originally sentenced to five years in prison for the rape, while the other was sentenced to three years for standing guard. While the ruling was overturned in 2017, the reasons for the acquittal only became known last week after the Italian supreme court annulled the appeal and ordered a retrial.