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Portugal court ruling on woman’s assault sparks outrage

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LISBON, Portugal  — Women’s rights groups in Portugal are protesting a court decision that quoted the Bible and a 19th-century law in justifying a suspended sentence for a man convicted of assaulting his ex-wife because she allegedly committed adultery.

The judges expressed “some understanding” for the attacker, noting the Bible says an adulterous woman should be punished by death. They also cited a 1886 Portuguese law that gave only symbolic sentences to men who killed their wives for suspected adultery.

The man, who used a bat spiked with nails to assault the woman, was given a 15-month suspended sentence and a fine of 1,750 euros ($2,000.) A prosecutor’s appeal requesting a custodial sentence was rejected.

The written ruling from Oct. 11 sparked outrage on Portuguese social media, with street protests planned Friday.

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