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Man paraded in dress through village in eastern Georgia over alleged sexual assault

7 November 2023
Police station in Lagodekhi Municipality. Photo: RFE/RL.

A man has been paraded in a dress through the streets by residents of a village in eastern Georgia for allegedly trying to sexually assault a relative.

On Monday, the Prosecutor’s Office stated that three men had been arrested and remanded into custody for ‘humiliating’ and damaging the man’s ‘honour and dignity’.

‘The defendants, on the grounds that, in their opinion, the victim committed a disgraceful act, demanded that he perform a humiliating act by putting on women’s clothes. They threatened to kill him otherwise’, read their statement.

RFE/RL reported that residents of the village of Kabali had accused the 29-year-old man of attempting to sexually assault his relative’s wife.

Footage published on social media showed at least several dozen people gathered to watch the man as he was forced to walk through the street in a dress escorted by three men — presumably those who were charged later.

If found guilty, the men could face up to 10 years in prison.

A silent victim

Speaking to RFE/RL, the mother of the woman who was allegedly sexually assaulted by the man on 30 October said that he had come to their house to ask for a horse tether.

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Her daughter told him that he could find one in the basement. When he went to find the tether in the basement, he called on her to come down to help him find it.

He reportedly assaulted her when she entered the basement.

‘He tried to sexually abuse her. The girl screamed and asked for help. Her shirt was torn, and the man ran away’, her mother said.

She also told RFE/RL that the man’s mother had come to apologise to the family, offering to make her son wear a dress and walk down the street by way of apology.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs told OC Media that it was still investigating whether the man had sexually assaulted the woman.

‘If the mentioned crime [sexual assault] is revealed, of course, an investigation will be started in this direction as well’, said the ministry.

Tozu Gulmamedli, a civil activist, on Tuesday, wrote on Facebook that ‘it is unacceptable to humiliate a person for any reason, even if it is violence against women. Had the police been informed, he would have been punished by law’.

‘[No one] has the right to apply such punishment arbitrarily, then why do we need the law, the state? Let’s go back to our cave. Now that person has become a victim, not a culprit’, she wrote.

‘I hope the investigation will be conducted properly and everyone, without exception, will be punished for what they did’.