Rape acquittals because girl ‘not helpless enough’

Four men charged with gang-raping a 17-year-old girl have been acquitted by a Swedish court because prosecutors were unable to prove that the girl was in a helpless state at the time of the incident.

A total of six men were charged in the case, four for having had sex with the teenager and two for having stood by without trying to intervene, the local Östra Småland newspaper reports.

According to the Kalmar District Court in south-eastern Sweden, there was evidence showing that the men had had sex with or engaged in other sex acts with the 17-year-old at a party held last summer.

Three men have also confessed to engaging in sex acts with the girl.

At issue was whether or not the girl consented to having sex with the men.

While the men deny they attacked the girl, the girl claims she was so intoxicated that she couldn’t defend herself.

In court, the teenager admitted that she “had never in her life” been as drunk as she was the night in question. She awoke the morning following the incident with semen in her hair and very hazy memories of what had happened, according to the newspaper.

The court found the girl’s version of events credible, but said she had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she was in fact defenceless at the time of the incident.

In its ruling, the court noted that the 17-year-old had kissed and kept company with several other men earlier in the evening.

The court also found that the fact that the girl waited 40 hours before reporting the incident “can be seen as noteworthy”, according to Östra Småland.

According to the 17-year-old, she waited to report the incident because she was afraid no one would believe her.