A child sexual abuser has his sentenced reduced as 6 year old victim “was making a precocious choice”
Mario Tolosa had his sentence for child sexual abuse cut in half after
This case occurred last year in Argentina but has only recently garnered media attention. The reduction in sentence was given because the child had already been raped by his father.
This case may be one of the most egregious forms of victim blaming we have come across recently but it is the reality in which victims of child sexual abuse live. Children are routinely held responsible for the abuse they experience. We see it in statements from judges as well as "safety" campaigns.
What concerned us the most about media coverage is the connotations which suggested that a 6 year old blamed for their rape is something that "happens over there" to "other people". This 6 year old child was abused multiple times: by his father, another perpetrator and the criminal justice system in Argentina. It is absolutely necessary for this level of victim blaming by a judge to be made public whilst protecting the anonymity of the child, but we also need to recognise that this is not just something that happens in "other places". It happens here too - and media representations of child sexual abuse are contextualised by racism and classism. The media must report on such flagrant abuses of power of judges who excuse male violence, but without engaging in racist and classist discourse.