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Man freed in landmark S&M case

TT/The Local · 28 Sep 2010, 14:34

Published: 28 Sep 2010 14:34 GMT+02:00

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The Malmö district court acquitted the man on charges of aggravated assault over a weekend of slave-like sex with the then 16-year-old girl.

The ruling is taken as a primary legal indication over whether a girl prone to self-harm is able to consent and submit herself to violent sex.

The issue of how much sexual violence is allowed between consensual sex partners had never been heard in the Swedish court system and experts in sadomasochism were called to testify in the hearing in Malmö district court.

The district court noted in its ruling that valid consent can not apply to aggravated assault, which in general can neither afford freedom from responsibility for the perpetrator. The court considered the level of violence to which the girl was subjected to be reduced to a classification of assault.

The court thus ruled that this was not a case of aggravated assault, and also noted that the girl had issued her consent of her own free will, observing that she had herself taken the initiative in contacting the man.

The 16-year-old girl came in contact with the man through a sadomasochism-themed website and later signed a “slave contract” in which she consented to being “used, abused and thoroughly humiliated”.

“I want to have a really hard master. Someone who won’t wimp out,” the teen wrote the 32-year-old during their online chat, according to the Aftonbladet newspaper.

During their sexual encounter, which took place in January, the girl allowed herself to be locked in a cage and have clamps attached to her breasts, according to several media reports.

The 16-year-old was also hit with whips and rulers, and made to have oral sex until she vomited, according to Aftonbladet.

Police were alerted to the alleged assault when a relative of the teen noticed she had bruises all over her body.

Story continues below…

The man and the girl spent ten days discussing what they wanted to do when they met, before she arrived to take part in their role play.

The girl was over 16-years-old and thus above the age of consent and the court ruled that it had not been proven that her age, her history of self-harm, or any other extenuating circumstance, rendered her unable to understand what she was consenting to, or that her consent was meant in all seriousness.

The court furthermore observed that the girl had previous experience of BDSM sex and thus knew what she was getting herself into.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:24 September 28, 2010 by LundenLad
A sensible decision, bravo.

Whoever instigated this prosecuton deserves a jolly good spanking..
16:19 September 28, 2010 by ironman294
age of consent should be 18 in all countries. What the hell does a 16yr old know about anything or consent to things? Most 16 yr olds are still talking about Britney Spears and talking about Prom and still get acne!!!
16:42 September 28, 2010 by William Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha
I don't really get this ruling. Yes she consented, but she is still legally a child. ????? I am so getting my kids to sign a contract saying they agree to getting a wallop if they don't do what I say.
17:28 September 28, 2010 by bocale1
@ironman294, and why not 19 , or 17 or 21? I miss what happens exactly at 18... or should we make a test to all women and if they talk about Britney Spears then... no way, no sex! come on, wake up! some 16 yo girls can be more mature than others at 20... age do not say that much about maturity of people and, anyhow, I do not see S&M appetites as prove of immaturity neither!

@WSCG, 16 yo is legal age for sex here so what? what child you are talking about? kids? wake up, it is Sweden, 2010!
19:18 September 28, 2010 by ironman294
Because at 18 you have atleast finished high school and about to be off to college a 16 yr old still does not have enough life experiences and more susceptible to manipulation by predators like the 32 yr old. I am sure the 32 yr old could not get someone his own age to fall for this nonsense.

Also someone look into this girl's parents for if at 16 she is so into torutre and beatings, something is going on there as well.
20:16 September 28, 2010 by G Kin
The swedish law stipulates that the age of concent to sex is 15. POINT!.

She took contact with this man,

They spent 10 days dicussing the form/dimension thier act should take,

She signed a sex slave contract,

and the man took her to new places/experience she has never been to as she wanted :)
22:07 September 28, 2010 by Sam1
This girl has psychological problems and so is the man, they both should be admitted to a clinic for help.

Sex can get wild to limid of little rough and naughty but not to limit of bruising each other and causing physical harm.

I knew some one from a very rich wellknown family her family was daily on news for being involved with religion and politics, while the girl would search on streets for some one to abuse her to limit of chocking oraly for prolonged periods of hours and hours.

Humiliation gave her pleasure, I studied her case for 6 months and found many reason for masochism and took another 6 months to raise her character.
23:52 September 28, 2010 by veganrockchick
I don't really think raising the age of consent will stop people wanting to do this kind of thing at all :S

For me when I was 16 I was more than able to handle myself but some friends of mine now years on are in still in my opinion very immature and naive. Its totally up to the individual- putting an age mark on something will probably only make people want to break the taboo even more.
01:08 September 29, 2010 by Coalbanks
Certainly raises some interesting questions: Nothing illegal according to existing laws, they discussed the session extensively beforehand, she signed a contract - But: can a 16 yr old be held to a contract in Sweden? , was her self-abusive history a factor? doesmaturity have little to do with age? does experience have as much to do with maturity as age once you are 16 yrs old? Does maturity involve a right to take risks?
08:07 September 29, 2010 by Taxalien
A man twice the age of a minor has great fun with a child and is acquitted.

Is that normal do you think?

Regarding the age of consent. I have no problem with 15, 16 or in some cases even younger children having sex. With other children. Not adults twice their age.

The law should be that adults above the age of 18 cannot have sex with children under 18. The only borderline case would be someone having turned 18 but who already had a sexual history with someone below 18.

To those who argue that she signed a contract in which she allowed herself to be exploited - do you believe a minor legally has the right to enter into contracts without the consent of their parents?
12:44 September 29, 2010 by SarahRF
What I don't understand is that at age 18 you are finally allowed to drive, vote, buy light beer, rent porno movies, and become responsible for your actions, be they criminal or not. At age 20 you are allowed to buy stronger alcohol and tobacco, and get into most bars.

Yet, at age 15, you are allowed to decide to open yourself to diseases, some incurable, as well as to the risk of creating a new life that you probably don't want to take care of, let alone being able to take care of. And honestly, if the risk of getting a disease was not a problem, then why is there a chlamydia epidemic going on here in Sweden?

Is it just me, or does this seem a little messed up?
14:08 September 29, 2010 by calebian22
It does seem strange that the definition of child is so inconsistent here in Sweden. In this case, she is an adult capable of causing harm to herself with the help of a partner, but in August a 16 year old boy in Västerås got three years of detention for killing his prenant girlfriend who wouldn't have an abortion. Age was a factor in sentencing because he was a juvenile. Strange Sweden.....

16:28 September 29, 2010 by DesmondRavenstone
Several points to address here...

Can a 16 year old consent to sex generally, or BDSM in particular? Apparently Swedish law says yes, but my reading is that Sweden and other countries are wisely seeing the issue of age as less clear-cut. Instead of a "bright line" between childhood and adulthood, a more practical policy is to see adolescence as a "gray area" with considerable individual variation. From what's being described here, sounds like the defendant and the young woman demonstrated that she understood what she was getting into, and therefore fully consented.

Can someone consent to being harmed? Again, not such a clear cut answer. If an unequivocal "no," then you would have to ban rugby, martials arts, parachuting, and various other contact and extreme sports which carry an equal or greater risk of harm than the bulk of BDSM practices. Rather, it is recognized that, if participants understand and agree to a reasonable risk of harm, then they should be permitted to engage in that activity. Obviously the court in Sweden decided that this was the case in this incident.

Was it ethical for a 32 year old man to engage in heavy BDSM play with a 16 year old? Again, that depends on the individual circumstances. I for one would be extremely hesitant to do so, and not just because of US laws regarding age of consent. It could be argued, however, that just as there are some folks who do not have the maturity and understanding to consent to certain things even while in their thirties, there can be and are some in their teens who do have these qualities and therefore should be given more leeway than others in their age group.

I think the most significant fact coming out of this case is that the Swedish courts have determined that BDSM should not in itself be legally prohibited. Contrast this to cases in the UK and US, where consensual and even mild BDSM can be subject to prosecution as battery. Perhaps over time, the rest of the world will follow the example of Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and other countries in respecting the right of kinksters to engage in safe and consensual erotic play without government interference.
14:38 September 30, 2010 by Nikky1
The most important point here is that SHE was initiator of the activity as well as she is proved to have BDSM experience previously. So, she got what she wanted - probably the quality of the session wasn't good enough for her))) I don't really see the case here and obviously man is absolutely clean by legal. Moreover, some 16y.o. teens might have much more sexual experience then 30-45 y.o. It's not question of the age rather then personality ....
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