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Another rape conviction thrown out in wake of new precedent

TT/Charlotte West · 24 Jul 2009, 11:11

Published: 24 Jul 2009 11:11 GMT+02:00

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In overturning the conviction, the Court of Appeal for Western Sweden made reference to a Supreme Court ruling stipulating that testimony from the victim of an alleged rape is not sufficient to secure a conviction without additional supporting evidence, according to the Göteborgs-Posten (GP) newspaper.

The man who had his conviction overturned and the alleged victim first met each other at a bar in March and then went back to the man's house.

The woman claimed the man then forced her to have sex, while the man denied having any kind of intercourse.

Despite the lack of forensic evidence, the district court found the woman's testimony to be credible and in May sentenced the man to two years in prison for rape.

But on July 3rd, the Supreme Court overturned two similar rape convictions. In both cases, the district court and the court of appeals had issued sentences based solely on the woman's testimony. The Supreme Court emphasized the importance of technical or other evidence to back up witness testimony.

The court of appeals referred to this new precedent in its decision.

Story continues below…

"I interpret the Supreme Court's decision as a reminder that strong evidence is necessary in rape cases," Staffan Levén, appellate court judge, told GP.

TT/Charlotte West (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:37 July 24, 2009 by Mib
Innocent until PROVEN guilty! That is the precedent for all legal cases. If she stated she was raped, but their was no evidence etc, then he is innocent! It's not rocket science.
15:17 July 24, 2009 by conboy
There are men who rape and women who rape. There are boys who lie and girls who lie. Forensic evidence is the key. "The right on attitude" that women always say no and would never lie about that has been shown up too many times to be a falsehood by manipulitative women. By the same token lying and bullying rapists have intimidated women prior to and after rapes by claiming that there was mutual agreement. I think Swedish law needs to look at other jurisdictions and try and achieve some form of best possible practice level on which to benchmark the standard of evidence.
19:41 July 24, 2009 by insect
Rape is a very serious crime and should be punished accordingly. But I can't help wondering, why did the woman go to the man's house? A man she met in a bar? Did she think she was going to get some icecream? Just sayin.....
08:59 July 25, 2009 by skane refugee
"Innocent until PROVEN guilty"

... absolutely agree with that ...

... although that's the central tenet of English law and it's global variants ... this case happened on 'planet Sweden' ... superficially similar / fundamentally different value set

... 'common sense' ain't so common!
20:12 July 25, 2009 by eZee.se
Strange, I would have thought the feminist idiots would be tearing this post up with gazillions of comments by now crying about how "another went free" and how would you feel if your mother / sister / aunt / loved one / grandmother was raped... yet this post is strangely silent with people actually talking sense.

I guess all the feminists are at a local carpet munching meeting talking about how terrible men are trying to rule the world with their evil penises.

Oh well...
19:21 July 26, 2009 by DMatni
Innocent until proven guilty is definitely the right way to go although looking at it from another angle, it may also silence more victims of rape. With these stricter pre conditions for a rape conviction to ensure a fair trial, I just wish that the punishment meted out would be harsher rather than just a slap on the wrist.

And you're absolutely right skane refugee, common sense ain't so common at all! I'm surprised it's taken Sweden this long to get to the conclusion that forensic evidence is as important as victim testimony.
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