Women and Justice: Court: Cluj Court of Appeal

Domestic Case Law

State v. L.D. Cluj Court of Appeal (2006)

Gender-based violence in general, Sexual violence and rape

The accused L.D. entered into the house of an 80-year-old woman, exercised physical violence against her, and raped her. The woman died as a result of the violence, and L.D. was convicted for homicide. Related to the rape the trial court considered that due to the lack of the victim’s complaint (a condition precedent for criminal investigations in case of rape) L.D. could not be convicted of rape. In the appeal submitted by the prosecutor, the Appeal Court held that although in normal circumstances the lack of a victim’s complaint will prevent criminal investigations of an alleged rape, in special cases, where the victim died, the criminal investigations shall start ex-officio. As any person needs to be treated with dignity during criminal investigations, the memory of the victim needs to be treated in the same way. The Appeal Court explained that the right of a person to file a criminal complaint for rape had been hindered by an unpredictable and invincible event, the death of the victim of the rape.