A court in Brazil has rejected a historic #MeToo case by an Argentine actress against her co-star.
29-year-old Thelma Fardin said in 2018 she was raped by her co-star Juan Darthés in 2009 when she was 16 and he was 45.
Fardin said Brazilian-born actor Darthés had lured her back to his hotel room in Nicaragua during the international tour of their film, “Patito Feo” or “Ugly Duckling”.
She said he had raped her after he forced her to touch his erection and said “look at what you do to me”, as if it was her fault.
Fardin’s story went viral and sparked a #MeToo movement in Argentina.
Tens of thousands of people began sharing their own experiences with the hashtag #MiraComoNosPonemos – “look at what you do to us”, a variation of what Darthés had said to Fardin.
Months earlier, three other actresses had also come forward to say Darthés sexually harassed them.
Darthés denied the allegations and moved back to his home in Brazil, where Fardin then sued him.
On Sunday May 14, the court acquitted Darthes over “insufficient evidence”.
“The court asks for proof… What are they asking the youth? I was a 16-year-old girl… What is justice demanding from the youth? That they film themselves when they are abused?,” Fardin said after the ruling at a press conference with Amnesty International.
“Justice will be the last line of defense against a historically violent and patriarchal system,” she said. “I want to ask all those who dared to speak out, following the conference in 2018, don’t let the verdict indoctrinate you. It doesn’t indoctrinate me, and it shouldn’t indoctrinate the individuals going through this, either.”
The acquittal does not mean that the event did not happen, but that the judge simply did not find enough evidence to prove the rape, according to Amnesty International.
Fardin said she will appeal.