Emmerdale fans were repulsed last night, when they accused the ITV soap of portraying vile Lee Posner in a sympathetic light.
On Wednesday night (July 31), Robert Sugden was informed he could be charged with manslaughter or even attempted murder for his attack on his sister's rapist.Emmerdale viewers know that Robert attacked Lee with a shovel, after the villain goaded him by making disgusting comments about his sister Victoria Barton.
Pushed to the limit by the evil rapist, Robert lashed out in anger when he made vulgar comments about Victoria - even implying he'd target another woman after he had finished tormenting Victoria.
Having felt powerless to stand up for his sister up until this point, Robert left Lee for dead after hitting him hard over the head.
And now Robert's future looks uncertain as HE could go to jail for the attack, while Lee remains a free man (once he is discharged from hospital, that is).
Sadly, Victoria didn't go to the police immediately after being sexually assaulted, so had no forensic evidence for the police to be able to charge her attacker.
I am speechless at the stupidity of this storyline about how a rapist is now a victim.
She is now pregnant with Lee's child.
And in uncomfortable scenes last night, even his victim Victoria appeared to have sympathy for Lee, saying he didn't deserve to be beaten.
Those watching from home were incandescent with rage at the ITV soap, with one even suggesting the scriptwriters should be "ashamed of themselves".
One fumed: "Can't believe you managed to make everyone but the actual rapist the villain in this storyline."
Another said: "A rape victim should never sympathise with their rapist. Especially a victim who won't be getting justice."
A third added: "I realise you have to come up with something as Ryan is leaving but seriously this? I expected so much more, but now the rapist is the victim and has Vic feeling sorry for him?!"
"Vic feeling sorry for the rapist? Excuse me but how can you justify this writing?" asked another, and one more said: "It really is the most disgusting thing. These writers should be ashamed of themselves."
Dozens more felt the same, with one writing: "I am speechless at the stupidity of this storyline about how a rapist is now a victim, and how the victim and her brother are in the wrong for defending themselves. WOW Emmerdale, I have no words. Pathetic."
Others questioned the possibility of Robert being charged with attempted murder, claiming the prosecution would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he intended to KILL Lee - which he didn't.
One disgruntled fan called the storyline "the worst to date".
Emmerdale confirmed Victoria's rape storyline in May, after the dramatic events of the Big Night Out.
At the time, viewers praised the plot for tackling the big issue so sensitively.ED! contacted Emmerdale about the recent criticism, but they declined to comment on storyline speculation.
If you have been affected by the issues in this storyline, please call the national Rape Crisis helpline on freephone 0808 802 9999 any day of the year, or for more information and details of local specialist services (for survivors of all ages and genders), visit rapecrisis.org.uk.
Do you agree with the criticism here? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think!