Justice for Mariana Ferrer
Justice for Mariana Ferrer
(This is the English version of this petition.)
Mariana Ferrer, a young Brazilian influencer and event promoter, claims she was sexually assaulted in December 2018 by wealthy sports businessman André Camargo Aranha. The assault took place at a party she was hired to promote in a luxurious nightclub called Café de La Musique in Florianópolis in southern Brazil. Ferrer says she had one single drink and that she was drugged and later raped by Aranha. He denies it and insists Ferrer consented to sex, but there is much evidence to the contrary (explained below).
In September 2020, Aranha was acquitted on the grounds that the rape had been "unintentional". The verdict has caused outrage among women, activists, feminists, and the general public due to the conclusion made by the Public Prosecutor’s Office that Aranha committed “unintentional rape”, claiming that he didn’t intend to rape Ferrer and he didn't realize that she was unable to consent. The crime of "unintentional rape" has no precedent in the Brazilian justice system. Also, it contradicts the Public Prosecutor’s Office’s initial thesis, in which the businessman was found guilty of raping a vulnerable person (i.e. someone who is in a vulnerable position).
The news agency Intercept Brasil acquired footage of the court trial hearing where Ferrer was verbally attacked and humiliated by the defendant's attorney, Cláudio Gastão da Rosa Filho. In tears, she begs to be treated with basic respect. Attacking victims has been commonplace in cases of sexual violence in Brazil. According to Juliana Sa de Miranda, lawyer at Machado Meyer Law Firm, "It is common to attempt to deconstruct victims' image in cases of rape and sexual harassment. There is talk of the victim's clothing, behavior, in an attempt to convince the judge that the victim consented to the act. Victims often end up having to defend themselves because they start to feel accused and no longer a victim". This psychological torture of victims has got to stop!!!
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
1. Demand that institutions such as the MPSC (The Public Ministry of Santa Catarina) and Santa Catarina Courts of Justice review the case, by signing this petition.
2. Give the case an international voice by sharing this petition, as it may set a new precedent in Brazil's justice system if it goes unnoticed.
We just want JUSTICE for Mariana Ferrer, demanding that she gets a FAIR TRIAL where she's treated with the DIGNITY AND RESPECT that every human being deserves!!!
More alarming facts about this case:
-Prosecutors in charge of the case were replaced. Prosecutor Alexandre Piazza was the one who filed the complaint and considered Aranha guilty of raping a vulnerable person (i.e. someone who is in a vulnerable position). However, prosecutor Thiago Carriço de Oliveira was the one who conducted the trial hearing and presented the final allegations. According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, Piazza left the case voluntarily.
-While being questioned by police, Aranha said Ferrer and he were at the same place at the night club but that he wasn’t introduced to Ferrer. He also mentioned that both had to go to the bathroom at the same time and that he helped her go up the stairs that led to the bathroom. He later admitted that he “was instructed by his lawyer not to describe what had happened to avoid being arrested”. At the trial hearing, however, Aranha claimed to have had physical contact with the young woman and narrated lewd acts. The businessman, however, continued to deny that he had had sex with the young woman. Aranha claimed Ferrer’s motivations were simply “financial".
-Initially, Aranha agreed to grant biological material so that it could be compared to the semen collected in the victim's clothing, but changed his mind after talking to his lawyers. However, Precinct chief Caroline Monavique Pedreira was able to collect Aranha’s saliva and fingerprints from a glass he used to drink water at the police station. The report indicated that the sample (saliva) and the semen belonged to the same person. Aranha was acquitted anyhow.
-Police investigators were at the Café de La Musique four days after the crime, on December 19, 2018, to retrieve images from the local security cameras. The only images/video recordings included in the investigation and mentioned in the case records last 6 minutes and show Ferrer and Aranha going up and down the stairs (both go up the stairs together. Ferrer goes down the stairs first and then, Aranha goes down the stairs on his own). However, in May 2019, police investigators detected that there were 37 cameras at the nightclub. At that time, people in charge of the nightclub claimed all the recordings from the other cameras weren’t available any longer due to the fact that the security system belongs to another company that keeps recordings for a certain period of time and erases the images automatically, freeing up space for other recordings.
-Although Ferrer's toxicological report was negative for alcohol and drugs, the General Institute of Forensics confirmed there is a limit of substances that can be detected. Even though the report was negative, Pedreira states the victim's report should be considered as she claims to have memory gaps. Moreover, Pedreira highlighted in the final police report that one of the witnesses said that Aranha mentioned at an after-party dinner party that Ferrer was crazy and that she was very drunk. It is clear to see that even though Aranha was trying to discredit the victim, he acknowledges the fact that the Ferrer was in a vulnerable state.
-Ferrer's Instagram profile, in which she shared details of the case, was removed by the social network in August 2020. On Twitter, she shared a print in which the platform justifies that the account was removed “due to a lawsuit” . According to Ferrer, Aranha allegedly requested the removal of the content. In her tweet, Ferrer mentions that Aranha was trying to silence her voice.
-Besides humiliating and discrediting Ferrer in the trial hearing, the defendant’s attorney Cláudio Gastão da Rosa Filho showed pictures of Ferrer, which were taken long before the rape took place and had nothing to do with the case. Gastão's aim was to try to prove that Ferrer had consented to sex. According to Ferrer, some photos were altered and her bikini was removed in one of them suggesting that she was topless. The defendant’s attorney denies that the images were manipulated.