News Americas

Tuesday 16 July 2019

Brazilian politician fined for yelling congresswoman 'wasn't worth raping'

Congressman Jair Bolsonaro
Congressman Jair Bolsonaro

David Kearns

A Brazilian politician has been fined over €2,000 for telling a colleague she “wasn’t worth raping” during a debate on sexual violence.

Congressman Jair Bolsonaro was found guilty of an unacceptable attack on Maria do Rosario Nunes during a speech in December last year.

While politicians in Brazil have immunity from prosecution for comments made inside their parliament, Mr Bolsonaro repeated the offensive remark to a newspaper.

During a debate in the National Congress of Brazil the 59-year-old said his fellow politician was “very ugly” and not “worth raping”.

The comment came after Ms Nunes allegedly referred to Mr Bolsonaro as a rapist during an earlier discussion about sexual violence.

“Stay here Maria do Rosario!” he yelled as Ms Nunes walked out of the session.

“It’s been several days since you called me a rapist, and I said that I did not rape you because you weren't worth it!”

“She isn’t worth it, because she's ugly, she’s not my type. I would never rape her,” he told Zero Hora newspaper the next day – the phrase that cost him a fine.

Judge Tatiana Dias da Silva of the 18th Civil Court of Brasília, ruled that 59-year-old Bolsonaro must pay 10,000 Brazilian reals (€2,000) and publicly retract his statements. 

Ms Nunes filed a complaint, accusing her colleague of slander and public incitement to rape.

“I am not doing it for me, but for all Brazilian women, because no one deserves to be raped. I do not accept in Parliament or anywhere, the incitement to rape,” she said.

Following the judge's ruling, Ms Nunes said on her Facebook page that Brazilian women had “won a victory.”

“I reaffirm that any use of title indemnity for damages, will be immediately allocated to organizations that work to combat violence against women in the country,” she wrote.

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