In a ruling handed down on Tuesday, the Court of Appeal for Skåne and Blekinge overturned an acquittal issued by the Helsingborg District Court in May, the local Helsingborg Dagbladet (HD) newspaper reported.
Even though the boy claims he and the girl had consensual sex, the appeals court ruled that there is no proof that the sex was indeed consensual and that it’s not clear the sex wasn’t an attack against the 13-year-old girl.
According to the court, the age difference between the two teens is great enough that the 15-year-old boy must be held accountable for his actions.
The boy was charged with sexually exploiting a child after police learned that he and his 13-year-old girlfriend had sex back in February.
The girl later divulged the affair to her mother, who then reported it to police.
The boy has denied committing any crime, claiming that he and his girlfriend were in love with one another and that the sex was completely voluntary.
However, the 13-year-old girl is of a different opinion, HD reported.
Previously, a divided district court had accepted the boy’s version of events, taking the view that the age difference between the boy and the girl was insignificant and ruling there was no evidence that he forced the girl to have sex.
At the time of the incident, the girl was 13 years and 10 months old, while the boy was 15 years and 5 months.
According to Swedish law, the age of consent is 15 and anyone who has sex with someone younger than 15-years-old can be charged with sexual exploitation of a child, or, in more serious cases, child rape.
Like the district court, the court of appeal was divided in its ruling, with one lay judge arguing the boy should have been acquitted.
Nevertheless, the court convicted the 15-year-old, sentencing him to community service.