The look of horror and disbelief on the face of 23-year-old Mariana Ferrer in a video of her rape trial is unmistakable. The event promoter, who accused influential Brazilian businessman Andre Aranha, 42, of drugging and raping her, can scarcely keep her composure as Aranha’s lawyer verbally abuses her, as seen on the trial video which was published Tuesday by The Intercept Brasil.
Ferrer says Aranha, who has close ties to Brazilian soccer players, hired her in 2018 to promote the tony beach report Florianopolis in southern Brazil and then drugged and raped her. Aranha denies the rape charges and insisted Ferrer consented to sex.
During the trial, which took place by video link earlier this year, Aranha’s high-profile lawyer Gaston da Rosa Filho aggressively suggests Ferrer’s provocative social media photos prove she was “asking for” Aranha’s sexual advances. “I pray to God my son never meets a woman like you,” he tells Ferrer.
Filho can be heard calling Ferrer’s rape claim a “little show” for financial gain. “It’s no use to fake cry,” he said as the abuse continued. “Get your crocodile tears out of here.”
Ferrer, by then in tears, then asked Judge Rudson Marcos to intervene to stop Filho’s barage of insults. “Please, your honour, even defendants, even murderers, aren’t treated the way I’m being treated,” she can be heard saying as she cried.
Filho argued that at the most, his client only committed “culpable rape” because he did not realize that Ferrer was unable to consent. The judge ultimately acquitted Aranha of all charges, which has sparked backlash among Brazilian soccer teams with ties to Aranha. Several players tweeted #JustiçaPorMariFerrer, calling for justice for Ferrer.
Late Tuesday, Brazil’s National Justice Council opened an investigation into the judge, both for his conduct in not stopping Filho from humiliating the rape victim and for his ultimate not guilty verdict.
“The scenes from Mariana Ferrer’s trial are appalling,” Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Gilmar Mendes tweeted Tuesday. “The justice system should be a place of refuge, not of torture and humiliation.”