• Sweden edition
 

Court frees accused rapist: 'no' isn't enough

Published: 28 Nov 2012 08:05 GMT+01:00
Updated: 28 Nov 2012 08:05 GMT+01:00

"She wasn't able to describe either violence or threats, and therefore it's not rape according to the letter of the law," prosecutor Barbro Brännlund told the local Nya Wermlands-Tidningen (NWT).

The woman reported the rape to police in Karlstad about a year and a half ago, explaining that an acquaintance had forced her to have sex with him against her will.

She told the man "no" repeatedly and did her best to hold her legs together, the woman told investigators.

But when the man refused to stop, the woman "shut down", allowing the man to carry out the act.

As there was no forensic evidence in the case, it became of matter of one's word against the other's.

While the court explained that it found the woman's version of events credible, the man was ultimately freed because it "hadn't been shown beyond a reasonable doubt" that the man had forced the woman to have sex with him.

Brännlund is concerned that women in Sweden may not understand what's required for to secure a rape conviction.

"Even if a no is a no, it's not enough to just say it for it to be rape," she told the paper.

"In my mind, there's no doubt whatsoever that the woman perceived this as an attack. But the man never realized that."

The case almost never made it to court because evidence was so thin and the prosecutor has signalled she's unlikely to appeal the court's ruling.

TT/The Local/dl

Follow The Local on Twitter

Your comments about this article

09:13 November 28, 2012 by RobinHood
Once you get past the provocative and misleading headline interpretation of the prosecutor's rationale, this matter was decided on the evidence. She said one thing, he said another; and there wasn't a scrap of evidence proving who told the truth and who didn't, or what was understood or misunderstood by the couple.

Most first-world countries agree, this type of "he said, she said" cases are not enough to prove rape beyond the necessary reasonable doubt. There are some in Sweden who want to reverse the burden of proof so that the rapist must prove the victim consented, rather than the victim having to prove that he/she didn't. One presumes that involves filling in a legal document before the act. How romantic!
10:07 November 28, 2012 by texaslass
I agree that this headline is misleading. It seems that the trial was followed in accordance with the law. However, we do not know the whole story.

The article does not mention anything about him ripping her clothes off, so maybe she took her clothing off willingly. I think if a woman is uncomfortable with a man, it is best to keep the clothing on, then there are no misunderstandings. This requires some level of common sense.
10:26 November 28, 2012 by engagebrain
Was the man deaf ?

So to be able to complain about rape you have to say no and get beaten up.
11:31 November 28, 2012 by NyDag
Great, I'll use this argument next time i'm helping myself to the tills at the local ICA. "no isn't enough"
11:40 November 28, 2012 by ThePassenger
So, if I don't misinterpret the Swedish laws, if the rapist holds a knife or a gun the victim should still resist as much as possible so she can provide a stabbing or a gunshot as evidence? Otherwise the weapon threat will still be a matter of "his word against hers"?
15:23 November 28, 2012 by Uncle
ThePassenger

"So, if I don't misinterpret the Swedish laws"

I believe that you do. Presence of weapon + intent constitutes danger to life by definition. Presence of a PERSON does not constitute a threat.

The above case is very much alike a theoretical case where you run to the police and claim that a larger than you person came to you and told you to give him your money and after temporary disagreement you gave him the cash.

At the same time you cannot prove that you indeed had the money (no receipts, or recordings from a cash machine = no injuries to the "raped") or that he threatened you in any other way except just being physically larger than you. Your word should not put him behind bars for 10 years for robbery.

And yes - it is better to release 100 criminals than to put in an innocent person in a democratic and advanced society.
16:42 November 28, 2012 by k2kats
Outrageous. "No" means no.... the first time it's said. If the man had no malicious intent, he would have listened and stopped.

To penalize the woman for having a classic response among rape victims is an absolute travesty.
20:16 November 28, 2012 by Svensksmith
As others have mentioned, we do not know the whole story. On general principal, however, no means no. Period.
23:08 November 28, 2012 by dizzymoe33
No means No and that is all there is to it!! Stupid Swedish laws when it comes to rape.
10:35 November 29, 2012 by clearandpresenttruth
Hmmm... Very interesting news.

I would imagine the Assange case will now be treated in the same manor then.

...or do the standard convenient Svensk double standards also apply?

Swedish Transparency at it's best : )
22:29 November 30, 2012 by theobserver
This is very strange. I heard that, in Sweden, if, during intercourse, the woman says he wants the man out, he should immediately obey, else he will be charged for rape. The case at hand seems to be in contradiction with the strict rape laws.
Today's headlines
National
Northern Swedes wake up to September snow

Northern Swedes wake up to September snow

Summer has come to a definite end in Kiruna as residents of the northern town were greeted with a blanket of snow on Sunday morning. READ  

Elections 2014
Ex-Prime Minister: Sweden is falling apart
Former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson. Photo: Leo Sellén/TT

Ex-Prime Minister: Sweden is falling apart

Former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson has said that the election success of the Sweden Democrats is a "slap" in the face for the Stockholm establishment. READ  

National
Trio prosecuted for hate attack against Somalis
Somali nationals taking part in a demonstration against deportations in Stockholm. File photo:Björn Larsson Ask/SvD/ TT

Trio prosecuted for hate attack against Somalis

Three young men in southern Sweden suspected of attacking Somali refugees with stones and screaming "sieg heil" have been indicted on charges of racial agitation. READ  

National
Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Sweden is set to buck the European trend of rising air prices with fares expected to drop next year according to a new report. READ  

National
Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune
Eric Westerberg's homemade submarine Isabelle. Photo: PS.nu

Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune

A Swedish submarine enthusiast who spent over 3,500 hours making his own vessel has sold his prized possession for 705,000 kronor ($98,500) in an online auction. READ  

National
Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Police in northern Sweden have been reported to the Equality Ombudsman for describing a wanted suspect as having a "Roma appearance." READ  

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes
A political career for Zlatan? Some fans seem to want to see that. Photo: Peter Dejong/TT

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes

The Bilderberg Group, the Satanic Initiative and Adolf Hitler all received votes in Sweden’s general election, according to a list released by the country’s electoral authority. READ  

Sport
Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games
The Swedish team in action. Photo: TT

Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games

Sweden's capital has missed out on a chance to host any Euro 2020 games, with Copenhagen the only Scandinavian city among the thirteen winning locations. READ  

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests
Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of Uppsala, is the first woman to head the Swedish church. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests

A Swedish priest has been fired after telling his congregation that people who support female priests would be rejected by God - despite the fact that his own church is led by a woman. READ  

Analysis
Women set to dominate top post-election jobs
Margot Wallström (right) could become Stefan Löfven's new Minister of Foreign Affairs. Photo: TT

Women set to dominate top post-election jobs

Sweden could soon get a female Foreign Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt's ousted Moderate Party is preparing for its first woman leader and the grandmother of actor Hugh Grant's son is being tipped as Parliament's next Speaker. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
The 'black gold' of Sweden's west coast.
National
West Sweden prepares for the 2014 lobster premiere
Society
What's on in Sweden
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Blog updates

20 September

How a Frog Can Save the Environment (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"What we do we imagine when we think of children enjoying nature? Perhaps it’s fishing, marveling at lightning bugs on a muggy July day or blowing on the wispy petals of a dandelion to make a special wish. But perhaps most iconic of the playful innocence in childhood is hopping after and trying to catch..." READ »

 

19 September

Editor’s blog (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Friday readers! It sure has been a exciting week in Sweden, where we’re set to get a new Prime Minister after Fredrik Reinfeldt stepped down following Sunday’s elections. The Local blogged live from the key political gatherings across Stockholm. Why not re-visit the action by taking a look at our photos, tweets, videos and analysis? Since the..." READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

866
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN