• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

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

28 Nov 2012, 08:05

Published: 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."

Story continues below…

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
Malmö police catch car arson suspect in the act
Another car blaze earlier this month. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Malmö police have arrested a man after they caught him setting a vehicle alight in the Rosengård district as the city's spate of summer car fires continued.

Swedes find out how birth control affects your sex life
Swedish birth control pills. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Swedish researchers have investigated whether or not contraceptives affect women's sex lives.

Analysis
Gothenburg grenade blast is 'part of a cycle of violence'
Police investigators at the scene of the grenade blast in Gothenburg. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

The Local speaks to two crime experts about why an eight-year-old boy became the latest victim of gang-related conflicts in Gothenburg.

Trump accuses Ericsson of bribing Hillary Clinton
Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Ohio. Photo: AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

US presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke about the Swedish telecom giant at a campaign rally in Ohio.

Sorrow for boy killed in Gothenburg gang attack
The window of the Biskopsgården apartment broken by a grenade. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

The eight-year-old killed when a grenade was thrown into the window of an apartment is reported to be a resident of Birmingham, England.

Homes
In pictures: eight of Sweden's most colourful homes
Don't be afraid of colour. Photo: Wrede Fastighetsmäkleri

Tired of Scandinavian black and white design? Houzz.se's Amanda Strömberg guides you to some inspiring colourful homes in Sweden – because they do exist.

Stockholm airspace to close for Joe Biden visit
Biden and Swedish PM Stefan Löfven during a March 2015 meeting. Photo: Tomas & Monica Enqvist/TT

Along with traditional aircraft, drones, paragliders and even model airplanes will be banned from the skies while the US Vice President is in Sweden.

Why Sweden could change its pre-trial detention laws
A Swedish remand prison in Malmö. Photo: Ola Torkelsson/TT

"We have received strong international criticism over a number of years," Interior Minister Anders Ygeman commented on the much-criticised current system.

Opinion
'Integration is about more than a language and a job'
Abdulalim Alkatea. Photo: Private

Learning the local language and finding a job is not enough to become fully integrated in a society, argues Abdulalim Alkatea, a Syrian architect living in Sweden.

Boy, 8, dies in Swedish hand grenade blast
The apartment where a young boy died. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

UPDATED: Police are investigating if an explosion which killed a child in Gothenburg suburb Biskopsgården on Monday morning is a revenge attack.

Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
Gallery
Property of the week: Karlsborg
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
Watch this dog's reaction when she tries Swedish fermented herring
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th-21st
Blog updates

26 July

A summer of change; a summer of beauty (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"You would have had to try hard to miss the political upheavals in the UK after…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
The mystique of Asia - in the middle of Stockholm
National
How to find student housing in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
National
VIDEO: Swede films first Northern Lights of the season
Gallery
People-watching: August 17th
Society
Swedish population nears ten million
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
The Local Voices
This Syrian artist found love in a Swedish library
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
National
Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens. Only in Sweden.
Gallery
Property of the week: Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Society
Drunk knight detained in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Can you solve this Swede's strange Star Wars mystery?
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th-14th
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
National
Swedes cheer first snow of the season
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
People-watching: August 10th
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
The Local Voices
Syrian presenter: Swedish media should make more shows in Arabic
Travel
Watch the meteor shower in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Lifestyle
How to survive a crayfish party
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Gallery
IN PICS: Your Sweden summer snaps
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
National
Why are fewer foreign graduates staying in Sweden to work?
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Culture
This Swedish street artist's incredible murals will make your jaw drop
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Gallery
Property of the week: Östersund, Jämtland
The Local Voices
'Swedes have the right to decide what's best for their nation'
The Local Voices
Gabriel mastered Swedish and got accepted onto a medicine degree in just 7 months
The Local Voices
The Jewish Syrian who dreams of rebuilding his country
3,367
jobs available