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Snapping pics of sleeping woman's breasts 'not a crime': Swedish court

TT/The Local/dl · 21 Oct 2011, 10:32

Published: 21 Oct 2011 10:32 GMT+02:00

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“She considers herself to have been seriously violated,” prosecutor Gunnar Merkel told the Metro newspaper.

The case stems from an incident which took place in early 2010 when the two 20-year-old men decided to secretly take pictures of the 18-year-old during a party.

The girl had consumed copious amounts of alcohol during the evening and ended up passing out on a bed.

The two men then decided it would be fun to take some compromising pictures of the woman. In one instance the men can be seen giving each other a “high-five” with their sex organs exposed next to the woman's sleeping body.

The men also pulled down the 18-year-old's shirt and took pictures of her bare breasts while she slept.

Police came across the pictures months later on a computer belonging to one of the men in the course of a drugs investigation and were able to identify the woman using transcripts of internet chat conversations.

When police informed the woman about the existence of the humiliating pictures, she decided to pursue a criminal case against the men, who were eventually charged with sexual molestation.

Despite photographic evidence documenting their actions, the two men were nevertheless acquitted of the charges by the Stockholm District Court.

The two men couldn't be convicted, the court ruled, because the 18-year-old wasn't aware she was being molested at the time of the alleged crime.

According to Swedish law, molestation, sexual or otherwise, is only a crime if the victim is aware of the molestation at the time it's actually taking place.

And currently, taking pictures of people in secret isn't a crime under Swedish law, although a new law is on the way.

Story continues below…

Prosecutor Merkel has nevertheless vowed to appeal the ruling.

“This is about more than simply taking pictures in secret,” he told Metro.

Both men were however convicted of the narcotics offences for which they were also charged.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:44 October 21, 2011 by Tennin
11:53 October 21, 2011 by cattie
I hope she appeals.

Another episode in the land of no accountability.
11:55 October 21, 2011 by Addendum
"...because the 18-year-old wasn't aware she was being molested at the time of the alleged crime."

Children/elderly/mentally disabled/sedated patients/animals/etc who are molested may not at the time of the incident understand what was happening. So will monsters who abuse these groups be aquitted in the future?

Didn't the guy who molested the sheep get charged with animal cruelty? Far too often in Sweden, animals rights are better protected than human rights. And how the hell does this follow the garbage with the Assange case? I thought he was in trouble, in part, bc he initiated sex while his partner was asleep. Swedish law follows the whims of those in power and the social/economic status of the victim.

WHO makes up the Stockholm district court? I would like to know who's creating such abuse-sanctioning policies.
12:14 October 21, 2011 by Svensksmith
Taking nudie pix of a sleeping woman is not a crime in Sweden. Making a speech telling followers to kill those who fall away from your religion is not a crime in Sweden.

Strange laws.
12:16 October 21, 2011 by soultraveler3
"According to Swedish law, molestation, sexual or otherwise, is only a crime if the victim is aware of the molestation at the time it's actually taking place."

How is this the law?!

So if you're drugged, passed out, knocked out etc. creeps are allowed to do anything they please to you?

Addendum makes a good point too. There's a ton of different groups of people that may not realize that they're being molested while it's happening, that would also hold true for animals.

It's sick and so screwed up.

I guess in a country where you get 6 months for rape, rapers are acquitted if their victims didn't resist enough and there's suspended sentences and measly fines for participating in child porn rings we shouldn't be surprised. :/
12:19 October 21, 2011 by London_Jim
Not very gentlemanly of the lads, but let's be honest, no-one was hurt, suffered a loss and she didn't even know about it until the police informed her, so the picture was never made public.

Stern telling off seems to be the fair course of action in this case.
12:42 October 21, 2011 by nyag
many children are not aware that they are being molested or raped when their perverted attacker goes about sexually abusing them... so these attackers should be acquitted since the kids have no clue what's going on according to Swedish Law???

12:48 October 21, 2011 by Vitas
Swedish courts are nest of idiots. Why we dont know names of these judges? We know where is ciscus is - Stockholm District Court, but who is clowns?
13:24 October 21, 2011 by RobinHood
This is the sexual offences law to which JA is still expected to willingly entrust his reputation and freedom.

"Come on over JA, you'll get a square deal of us Swedes; we promise!"

If you ever fall foul of the sexual offences law in Sweden, and you have the opportunity, flee the country.
13:32 October 21, 2011 by budaboy
@ london jim

are you for real???

She was violated by these "lads" as you call them,

i rather call them sick perverted individuals that should get locked up for this serious crime.

You fit right in with these idiots...get a grip.
14:02 October 21, 2011 by soultraveler3

Are you saying that you'd be okay with this happening to your wife or daughter? Also that you'd be fine if the "lads" who did this just got a "stern telling off"?

14:09 October 21, 2011 by Scansson
Hej London_Jim

Can we borrow your wife, and/or daughter for a few pictures?

Thanks : )
16:10 October 21, 2011 by gh2008

a guy stole my car for only one evening. he drove the car around, had some fun and turned it back to where it was; safe and sound. he even filled it up with petrol. am i violated by this action? hell yes.
16:47 October 21, 2011 by Grokh
ok so if i drug someone to the point that they wont be aware of anything im allowed to kill and rape them ? since they are not aware of what its going on ....

FKING JOKE of a court.
16:52 October 21, 2011 by StuartM
This is utterly stupid and crazy. Yet again the victims of crime are left completely unprotected because of the incompetent fools who write the laws.
16:52 October 21, 2011 by London_Jim
Take a deep breath and just consider what was done. No-one was sexually abused, no-one was hurt - the crime was probably more of a misguided drunken prank. There's some incredibly reactionary responses to me on this thread.

If you re-read my original post, I stated that they were in the wrong. However, the offence they committed does not deserve the death penalty that some are calling for.
17:03 October 21, 2011 by jvtx3232
This seems obviously like a crime if you ask me.
17:25 October 21, 2011 by Addendum
@London_Jim... Fair enough that the boys/men could be drunken idiots. But facts such as that should be taken into account regarding the severity of their punishment. The problem is the "logic" which dismissed their accountability - that the victim was not aware of what was going on so nothing is wrong. That seems like a very dangerous precident to me. The court is essentially saying that anything goes as long as no one noticed at the moment it happened... So in Sweden, if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around, then it does not make a sound. Isn't that the same logic?
17:48 October 21, 2011 by budaboy
@london jim

How do you know it didn't go further than "just" a picture??

These guys are sick, next thing is rape.

Fkin dopeheads.
18:06 October 21, 2011 by London_Jim
I don't know if it went further. I'm going by what is written in the article rather than imagining what may have happened.

I think you're getting a little hysterical over something which, although wrong, is not really an imprisonable offence.
18:40 October 21, 2011 by Kaethar
I support this law. Ever occurred to people she may have been a willing participant but now wants revenge after one of them (her boyfriend) broke up with her? Or something like that. Point is that it because even more of a he-said she-said scenario than rape and molestation. Things that are also difficult to prove but without a doubt illegal. The fact that this woman did not report these men after the incident of the "crime" is what makes it look suspicious in court. Given that they have no way of knowing whether or not she's making it up she simply has no case. Instead she should sue them to get her pictures back...
19:08 October 21, 2011 by Streja
Kaethar, you seem to ignore facts. The woman was asleep passed out drunk. That is not advisable but it is not a crime to be passed out drunk. How could she be a willing participant? Are you crazy?

The police found the pictures in their computer and managed to find her. She did not instigate anything. Try thinking before posting.

I'm surprised by this because yes it is rape if someone is raped while sleeping etc.
19:11 October 21, 2011 by Opinionfool
So had these guys not waved their penises around but rather put them into the girl's orifices that would not be rape? She could not protest her breasts being exposed and that makes it not a a crime. She would not have been able to protest to being penetrated would that likewise not be a crime even though if she been awake she might have said "NO!", which would make penetration rape.

There are overtones of the plot of the film The Accused here. Does not the person whose home it happened in have a duty of care to those (namely the girl) who enter it? Isn't there a case to be answered by them for permitting these boys behavior?

But of course because they were convicted of the drugs offenses and prosecuted for that they are now to be considered innocent of sex crimes.
19:58 October 21, 2011 by dizzymoe33
What a F*U*C*K*I*N*G Joke!!!!!! Swedish laws suck!!!
21:49 October 21, 2011 by HenryPollard
When I was 18 and I passed out at a party, I was stripped half-naked and had my entire body covered in stuff written in marker pen. photographs were taken.

I didn't complain to the police, I laughed and partied with the perpetrators days later.

Maybe this young woman should worry less about being the victim and more about where she decides to pass out due to excess alcohol consumption
03:49 October 22, 2011 by shiraz
Sweden is a benevolent and merciful country UNTAINTED by the harsh laws of a semeticized England (theLocal being owned by people from England). It is unfortunate side effect of harboring/using people who have the last names of "sorcerers" or "kahins" : that you become judgemental, vengeful and have laws which are overly harsh (as can be seen by the laws of the middle east, Afghanistan etc.)

What happened to the girl was wrong but it ought not to be taken as more than a prank. In a society that suffers from scarcity of women (beautiful women) we can expect the few women throwing tantrums and fits and the deprived men arming themselves and fighting each other over them (over every thing and look for excuses to fight each other or incarcerate each other).
04:29 October 22, 2011 by budaboy
@ london jim

Call me hysterical if you like,

I just don't have the time for sexual predators, rapist, child abusers and or people that are ok with this kind of behavior

because the victim " didn't even know about it until the police informed her " as you posted in your first comment.

With all the sex crimes here in Sweden it is time for the courts to step it up and start slapping some serious punishment on people

for violating innocent victims and sent a clear message out, resetting the moral standards and values that obviously have sunk very low nowadays.

Neither does the girl know if it went further...she is left to imagine, not me.
06:12 October 22, 2011 by johnoleson
Take a bow Sweden, you've outdone yourself......... again.
06:54 October 22, 2011 by crunchy2k
LMAO....I can't believe the number of poster that thought this was a crime. All the examples they use to forward their stance are crimes. This was a drunk that passed out in a private home with a bunch of adult kids. It was a prank in poor taste. The drunk needs to better pick whom she is going to get drunk with. Or she can sober up and stop acting like an adult kid herself....
09:18 October 22, 2011 by RobinHood

Every civilized country in the world is very clear that exposing a women's breasts and taking pictures of them, without her permission, is a very serious sexual crime. If you check the law in your own country, you'll find it's crime there too.

I'll help you understand why. Please would you post your address here on this forum. I'll pop ever to your place one night with my Cannon, and get a few snaps of your meat and two veg while you're sleeping. Then, I'll undress one or two of your sleeping women folk and see how their breasts look on film too. Then, I'll post the pictures right here on TT so everyone else can admire them, and even add a comment or two.

If I don't see your address here, I'll assume you now realise what a dimwit you are.
11:01 October 22, 2011 by crunchy2k
@RobinHood, I like your idea of determining the civility of a nation by its female citizens bosoms. But alas, I'm a leg man.

Here is the Calif. Code.....http://wwwDOTleginfoDOTcaDOTgov/calaw.html You want to search the penal section. Sorry, Penal Code section as that is where the criminal code dealing with assault lays.

Here is a similar news story to the local's: from SFgate.com..... http://tinyurlDOTcom/4xlwzbp This was a little more serious than taking pictures. There will be no charges filed and she lost in a civil court already trying to sue these idiots for money.
11:27 October 22, 2011 by Addendum
I doubt Sweden's low-sentencing (low accountability) has to do with "benevolency" as much as it has to do with the expense of holding people accountable for their actions. I suspect that the powers-that-be feel that it's cheapest (for them) to ignore problem behavior and/or give as low a punishment as possible - as long as too many people don't complain too much.

The pattern time and time again seems to completely ignore problems or to do as absolutely little as possible if once is absolutely forced to do something. I've never seen anything like it...

Broken record that I am, it seems to be the same pattern within health care. The system will accept as many deaths and incidences of malpractice/neglect/etc. as the public is willing to allow. The people steering the boat don't care who drowns or gets thrown overboard...
12:28 October 22, 2011 by RobinHood

But crunchy, you forgot to post your address. What am i supposed to think about you now?
16:23 October 22, 2011 by johnny1939
So I guess you are allowed to take pictures of a for any reason past out person and then what? Perhaps spreading them on Face Book? The whole thing is absolutely absurd. I agree w/ most of you that the Swedish Laws are totally weird. It seems that common sense is totally absent.
21:14 October 22, 2011 by Jorrs
London Jim

You sir are a complete idiot

What if that was your GF ? Would you say the same ?

My ex GF was raped in her sleep, i have no time for people who do anything of this nature they are absolute garbage.
13:51 October 23, 2011 by Lukestar1991
London_Jim, is yet again living up to his name. Lets not forget that this is a man who thinks its perfectly okay for men to 'buy' sex off of trafficked and abused women and girls.
15:39 October 23, 2011 by budaboy
london jim

You seem to prefer to defend sex offenders rather than to show sympathy for the victims, reading back on your comments made on Oct 6 on a TL article

regarding a sick border cop who molested a woman in Boras.


Sexually frustrated yourself maybe?

I guess it takes one to know one.

You disgust me big time, and apparently a few other posters here too.

Think ten times before you write anymore sick and derailed comments.
05:54 October 24, 2011 by tmg84
When duels were outlawed, the police and courts stepped in to protect the rude as well as the criminals.
16:26 December 12, 2011 by TopAgentAward
The story in the future is only party with people you trust. To her advantage, that is as far as it went. You sure wish the person had given consent - you can't give something that nice without consent. It is not just a worker. It is person and the only way we win is as people. Honesty is sexy. I wish the court had provided the human touch. It sure helps to win the life contract early before another pervert is made.
20:02 January 21, 2012 by janeway
Swedish courts hand down harsher punishments for crimes against the state than crimes against people. Drug smuggling means no money for the Government. Fraud means the Government loses out. Car thefth, arson, rape, assault, etc, are crimes against people and are therefore considered to half a lower punishment level.


If it happened to your daughter, would you be as understanding then?

How do you know they didn't send the pictures around to their Neanderthal friends? Do you know them?

#21 It is clear in all reports of this crime that the victim was sleeping through it. How could it then have been a case of he said/she said alt. revenge against a former boyfriend?

#25. There you go, blaming the victim! Your weird friends didn't wave their weiners at you or took pictures of your private parts, did they? Also, read my response to #6.

#26. Say again, what rock you climbed out from under?

#29. Read my response to #25.
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