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Supreme Court avoids child rape sentences

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10:26 CET+01:00
Sweden's Supreme Court has downgraded the classification of two cases of sexual assault on teenage girls to sexual abuse, despite the prosecutor's demands for the two men to be found guilty of child rape.

In one incident the court found a 25 year old man from Strängnäs not guilty of raping a 14 year old girl. Instead he was found guilty of child sex abuse and his two year prison sentence was reduced to one year.

He will also pay the girl 50,000 kronor in compensation.

At the same time, the Supreme Court upheld the Appeal Court's verdict in a case in which a 25 year old man sexually assaulted a 13 year old girl. The man was sentenced to six months in jail for child sex abuse and ordered to pay compensation of 25,000 kronor.

These are the first cases in which the Supreme Court has had the new child rape laws, which were introduced last spring, at its disposal. These verdicts will be test cases, guiding other courts' judgements in similar trials.

In both cases the panel of judges were divided.

In the Strängnäs case one of the judges supported the prosecutor's argument and called for a two year sentence for child rape. In the other case, which took place in Uddevalla, two of the judges supported the same verdict.

The minimum sentence for child rape under the new law is two years' imprisonment.

The girls' representative had demanded 75,000 kronor in compensation for each of them.

The 25 year old from Strängnäs had, according to the prosecution, raped the 14 year old while she was extremely drunk. The original district court ordered him to pay 75,000 kronor, which the appeal court reduced to 50,000 kronor.

In the Uddevalla case, the 25 year old - who is himself a father - had sex with the 13 year old girl, who kept her horse at his stable.

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