No charges despite new child porn law

A year after the introduction of a new law banning the viewing of child porn, not a single charge has been filed with police admitting that they can't actively look for transgressors, according to a report in daily Dagens Nyheter (DN).

No charges despite new child porn law

“We only discover this if we confiscate a computer on suspicion of another crime,” said Björn Sellström, head of the child porn unit at the national police (Rikskriminalen) to DN.

To download or own pornographic images or footage of children has been a crime in Sweden since 1999 and since July last year it has also been illegal to look at child porn, for example on internet sites.

But so far, no one has been charged with the crime.

According to the police this is because they can’t scan the net randomly to find these people. The discovery would have to occur in connection to another crime.

Also, Sellström told DN the law isn’t clear on how much child porn a person must have viewed on the internet for charges to be filed.

He also thinks that the courts aren’t aware of the nature of the material when they evaluate the crime.

“They don’t see the viewing of this material as sexual abuse but as possession,” he said to DN.

But according to Mari-Ann Roos of the department of justice the changes in legislation have served their purpose.

She told the paper that the aim of the change in legislation was to close up holes and make sure that any action concerning child porn was a punishable offence.

“It is of less concern to us whether or not the police are able to take measure against the perpetrators,” she told DN.

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Second ‘infidelity check’ attack ruled to be sexual

A man who violated his girlfriend's private parts in an "infidelity check" was convicted of sex crimes by a court in southern Sweden, only four days after another man in Stockholm was cleared of rape charges in a similar case.

Second 'infidelity check' attack ruled to be sexual

In a case that wrapped up at Svea Court of Appeals (Svea Hovrätt) in early February, a 28-year-old man who had ripped his girlfriend’s trousers and underwear off in a fit of jealousy was cleared of rape. The crime was instead reclassified as “unlawful coercion,” which entailed a significant reduction in his sentence.

The ruling raised eyebrows in Sweden after the Court of Appeals explained its judgement by saying the attack was “not sexual in nature.

Following initial media reports about the Stockholm case, reports emerged that the Göta Court of Appeal in Jönköping (Göta hovrätt) had also ruled in a similar case. Instead of throwing out the sex crime conviction, judges underscored that the act of inserting fingers into a woman’s genitals was in itself a “sexual violation”.

“It doesn’t matter what the purpose was,” appeals council Andréa Erliden told the TT news agency.

“It relates to the woman’s sexuality.”

The second man, who had forced his girlfriend to take off her underwear to undergo the “infidelity check,” was convicted of sexual coercion.

In the previous case, that of the 28-year-old man in central Sweden who saw the rape verdict quashed, the defendant had torn his partner’s clothes off.

Erliden told TT she would welcome a clarification of the legal code.

TT/The Local/at

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