• 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

A man charged with raping a woman in central Sweden has been acquitted after the court ruled that despite the victim saying "no", she didn't protest vigorously enough.

"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

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden
Michael Boatwright (R) and Medieval knight re-enactors.

Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden

The "motel mystery" American who baffled US authorities by only speaking Swedish when he woke up from a coma last year has passed away, Swedish media reported on Wednesday. READ () »

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king

UPDATED: Scientists pried open the 850-year-old casket of King Erik the Holy on Wednesday, hoping to find out more about the king, his crown, and his eating habits. READ () »

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop
TeliaSonera CEO Johan Dennelind. File photo: TT

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop

Stockholm-listed telecom operator TeliaSonera on Wednesday said profits had fallen in the first quarter, but hoped offering customers more data solutions in the future would turn things around. READ () »

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'
Fredrik Reinfeldt. File photo: TT

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Wednesday urged young voters to head to the European parliamentary polls on May 25th "to cure the European disease of nationalism". READ () »

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg at the first quarter press conference. Photo: TT

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales

Swedish telecom giant Ericsson on Wednesday announced a drop in sales but posted a sharp rise in first-quarter profit, which nonetheless fell shy of analyst predictions. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping brawl
Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals

Swedish police fear that several people involved in a brawl in eastern Sweden on Monday night may be seeking revenge after two brothers were shot dead. READ () »

Sponsored Article
Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden
The town of Västervik.

Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden

Ask a Swede, and they are likely to say that their favourite holiday spot is in the southeast of Sweden. Eastern Småland and Öland offer a smörgåsbord of all the things dearest to the Swedes - from the beloved children's book author Astrid Lindgren to deep forests, long sandy beaches, perfect spots for that all-important 'fika', and a surprising amount of space, peace and quiet. READ () »

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth
Swedes enjoy hot dogs and cherry blossoms in Stockholm's Kungsträdgården. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth

The sun is set to stick around and temperatures could climb into the twenties over the weekend, Swedish meteorologists said on Wednesday READ () »

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

A 21-year-old man confessed on Wednesday to sex crimes against eight children at a day care where he was working as an intern. READ () »

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles
An unrelated bodybuilder. File photo: Ann Törnkvist

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles

Police in Sweden's south who hauled a muscular man in for steroid testing have had their knuckles rapped, after it was ruled that big biceps cannot be grounds for narcotics suspicions. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
TT
Gallery
Inside the 850-year-old king's coffin
Features
Sponsored: South-eastern Sweden offers Öland beaches and more
Gallery
Swedish underwear shop puts staff in front of the camera
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Local's Property of the Week - Täby
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - India Unlimited
Features
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - A film, food, and finance feast
National
University applications rocket to record high
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 18-20
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Advertisement:
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
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 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

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

719
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