The rape conviction of a wealthy Indian filmmaker has been overturned after a high court judge ruled that the victim’s “feeble no” could have been interpreted as a “yes,” according to a report from The Washington Post. Mahmood Farooqui, a popular Urdu storyteller, had been accused of forcing a Columbia University graduate student who had hoped he could help her with his studies into performing oral sex on him. Farooqui had allegedly invited the student to his house on the pretense that she would accompany him and his wife, filmmaker Anusha Rizvi, at a wedding they were going to. But when she arrived, the victim said, Farooqui was by himself, drunk, and began trying to kiss her and begging her for oral sex. After she refused, he allegedly forced himself on her.
“You were supposed to be my friend,” the victim wrote in an email sent after the encounter. “Instead you manipulated me. You hurt me. I said no. I said no many times.”
Farooqui, who was initially sentenced to seven years in prison after being convicted in July 2016, recently had his sentence overturned by Delhi High Court Justice Ashutosh Kumar, who cited the victim’s testimony that she faked an orgasm to escape the encounter as evidence that Farooqui had “no idea” that his alleged assault was non-consensual.
“Instances of women behavior are not unknown that a feeble ‘no’ may not mean a ‘yes,’” said Kumar in his decision.
Farooqui’s supporters in the Bollywood movie industry celebrated the judge’s ruling, and so did Rizvi, Farooqui’s wife, who issued a statement saying expressing relief over the decision. For more on the story, watch the video below.
Read the full story at The Washington Post.