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.
“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.