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Transgender woman appeals rape acquittal

The Local · 6 Jul 2012, 21:07

Published: 06 Jul 2012 11:02 GMT+02:00
Updated: 06 Jul 2012 21:07 GMT+02:00

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“We will appeal, of course. Sexual violence can happen in many ways, it doesn’t need to be vaginal. The limits of attempted rape were passed when he attacked her,” said the transgender woman’s lawyer Gun Brodd Hedlund to the TT news agency.

The attacker, a 61-year-old man, was “brutally violent” in the attack, tearing off the victim's pants and grabbing at her crotch.

However, he was acquitted of the attempted rape charges by the Örebro District Court after the court deemed the allegations to be “invalid”.

“The intended crime never had the possibility of being fulfilled,” explained Judge Dan Sjöstedt at the time to local newspaper Nerikes Allehanda.

When the woman was attacked, the offender allegedly had no idea he was attempting to rape someone who was biological man, a fact the court took into consideration in its ruling.

The court instead convicting the 61-year-old for assault, sentencing to four months in prison and ordering him to pay 15,000 kronor ($2,161) in damages to the victim.

The transgender woman has undergone years of hormonal treatment as part of the process of changing her gender from male to female.

Editor's Note: a previous version of this article erroneously listed the 61-year-old's prison sentence as being four years long. The error has since been corrected.

Story continues below…

TT/The Local/og


The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:24 July 6, 2012 by Tennin
They need to replace the whole judicial system here in Sweden. A bunch of stone age mentality idiots. It's disgusting.
13:44 July 6, 2012 by Mxzf
It seems like the judical system isn't worse or better anywhere else, but I'm sure some new ideas could be useful...

Since it's not impossible to rape a man, I really don't see what the court was thinking. If I find a gun, and go out and shoot at a lot of girls, but miss, I'm sure I'm not going to get away with "I only meant to shoot at boys".
13:51 July 6, 2012 by EP
Grabbing at the crotch in a violent attack would probably constitue sexual assualt in most countries. They should add sexual assault to the assualt charge ...
17:09 July 6, 2012 by fakeempire
Uhm, rape doesn't just mean vaginal penetration. What about anal and other sexual acts? Grabbing at the crotch is still sexual abuse if it is unwanted. As for rape, I don't think this would be called rape but more of sexual assault. It was unwanted!
17:48 July 6, 2012 by k2kats

When are these judges going to learn that rape isn't about sex; it's about aggression and power?
19:28 July 6, 2012 by dizzymoe33
Rape comes in many forms and it is not limited to vaginal penetration only. Come on Sweden wake-up! Good for this person to not give up and try to receive some justice for being attacked.
19:42 July 6, 2012 by Adamantis
This and the article prior to this one are incorrect when it comes to the sentence.

The man was convicted to 4 MONTHS in prison, not 4 years, and that is a huge difference.
20:17 July 6, 2012 by olga118
@Tennin, Stone age mentality...Perfect description. I really find this unbelievable...blame the victim. The justice system in this country really needs an education and an overhaul. No wonder this country has such high sexual assault statistics.
21:35 July 6, 2012 by Uncle
God, you people.. It is amazing how juridically invalid you all are....

Let me try and highlight a common knowledge (I am far from being an attorney). Persecution prepares a case. In the case the description of the alleged crime is given and the requirement for suggested punishment is recommended.

A parallel:

A guy plans a bank robbery, but makes an address error and enters a private house. Seeing that it is not a bank, he leaves the house without taking a thing and gets caught.

So if the persecution wants to put him in for a bank robbery and disregards the illegal entry into a private property (not to dilute the case) and LOSES, it cannot recall that he actually broke the law and COULD steal something from the house towards the end of the trial. For that, the persecution must initiate another trial.

So in THIS case, if the transgender claimed that she was a subject to vaginal rape, but then it became apparent that due to lack of vagina, it could not take place, she cannot just turn it into "wait, wait, he could still rape me anally".

I am sure that the rapist understood that she is a man and left her to herself and therefore there was no INTENTION to rape her anally. So although he COULD do it, but did not show an intention to, there is no case.

As for the crotch grabbing, the attacker got four months in prison and a fine of 15,000 kronor in damages to the victim. Therefore the decision was absolutely correct and solid, legally speaking.
22:14 July 6, 2012 by Adamantis
@ Uncle: you are however missing some important facts about this case. It was not the 61-year old rapist that aborted the attempted rape.

The rapist was interrupted by the girls ex boyfriend who had seen and heard the incident from his apartment (she was outside the gate to his apartment where it happened).

The 61-year old man had no idea that she was a transsexual woman without a vagina. He only found that out afterwards during the interrogations done by the police.

Therefor it would be impossible for the judge to know if the man would have continued with the rape even after he had noticed she doesn't have a vagina (if no one had interrupted it). The man had also been drinking so who is to say he wouldn't have raped her anyway since she looked like a female in every other aspect apart from her genital area.

And since the man also declines everything, how can the judge possibly know that it was strictly a vaginal rape that the man had intended on?

The judge has said in an interview with a swedish magazine that if the woman had been biologically female, he would have been convicted for rape as well.
00:50 July 7, 2012 by Uncle

Good info that was not highlighted in the above article.

HOWEVER. How do you know that the plans of the aggressor were not to kidnap the victim and make his sex slave? Let's hang kidnapping on him. How do you know if he did not attempt to murder and eat her afterwards? Let's add cannibalism and manslaughter on him. How do you know that he would not attempt to throw her half-eaten body into a crowded street with explosives strapped on her body? Let's throw in a bit terror act into there.

You SEE where I am going with it? Conviction cannot be based on ASSUMPTIONS!

OK, another parallel. A man walks in a dark alley and hears some noise. He jumps on the victim with an attempt to rape it. He sees that it is just a dog and gets caught immediately.

Shall we put him in prison because it COULD HAVE been an innocent 20 y/o woman with blond hair and big, oh, so big sad blue eyes? Or should we assume that he WOULD rape the dog, because the dog also happens to have bodily cavities and therefore he falls under the legal persecution pursuant to the bestiality laws?

Come on! SOME logic never harmed anyone.
02:30 July 7, 2012 by strixy
What a moronic sentence!

So gay men do not rape each other then? Are you sure? Because I know that even in a country considered grossly backwards by many such as Poland men get sentenced for raping other ment or for intending to rape them.

But not in Sweden, the equality capital of the world?
03:41 July 7, 2012 by Adamantis
@ Uncle: your possible scenarios are quite extreme assumptions.

In this case, as i stated before, the judge can't possibly know if the attacker would have gone through with a rape if he had found out. Since he was affected by alcohol the 2 most likely scenarios is that either he still goes through with it, or she would have even more beat up then she did. I doubt he would just pick up his things, apologize and then just walk away.

Fact is however that he did INITIATE an attempted rape of another person and should therefor be convicted of an attempted rape. What gender this person turns out to be or what genitals he/she has shouldn't matter, its still an initiated attempt of rape someone.
11:30 July 7, 2012 by Uncle

This is where I respectfully disagree and the law seems to be on my side. When attempting to rob a bank, but entering public toilet instead, one cannot and should not be convicted of an attempted bank robbery. Or if one tries to steal money from someone he presumes to be rich, but finds merely 1 krona, he cannot be tried for an ATTEMPTED theft of 1 million kronor.

The same applies here. When he would discover that there is no vagina, the judge CANNOT speculate what would the man do.

For me it does not make sense that a straight man who got his idea of control over woman would continue with control over a man since: "Ah, if we are already here, so where is some other cavity that I could use?" It just seems ridiculous. Rape is not about sex, but about control, however straight/gay definitions apply here as well.

This is the entire point with homosexuality - one does not just do it because one COULD do it and there are some other cavities available. One does it because one does not find joy doing it with the opposite sex. It is a BIOLOGICAL thing and not some sort of "I go forward with my penis and whatever I meet on my way shall be IT".
12:01 July 7, 2012 by strixy
he did not go to the toilet instead, he proceeded with intent to rape.
12:54 July 7, 2012 by Uncle
WHat? Did you even understand what I wrote? It is a PARALLEL. He proceeded until he got interrupted.

However, a REASONABLE person would not assume that he COINCIDENTALLY would turn into a gay rapist after discovering the lack of vagina. One does not rape for the mere existence of cavities. The judge seems to reason similarly, so what is unclear here?
14:27 July 7, 2012 by Adamantis
@ Uncle: You don't seem to know much about transsexual females though, or the men attracted to them. 50% (if not more) of the men attracted to transsexual females consider themselves to be straight because they are not attracted mens physical appearance as a whole but they are attracted to transsexual females feminine sides, what is between the legs is a very small part compared to the rest of the body. The remaining % of men would be bisexuals. Have never met a gay man who wants a transsexual female.

As a transsexual female myself i have received plenty of sexual invites from so called straight men because they found me beautiful from a feminine aspect. You would probably be very surprised at how many men there are who are attracted to transsexual females, but 99% keep very quiet about it.

In this case, the judge doesn't have to speculate in what the man would have done. He had still initiated an attempt to rape and should be convicted for attempted rape.

If you try to rob someone in a darkly lit alley but it turns out he doesn't carry any money, you would still be convicted of attempted robbery. Even if you where to suddenly abort the robbery in the middle of it becasue you realize that the person in fact might be some homeless guy who probably doesn't have any money, you would most likely still be convicted of an attempted robbery.
17:36 July 7, 2012 by AnnMeaghan
@Uncle - I understand where you're coming from with your parallels and I understand that often the letter of the law does not leave room for emotional judgments. But following from your arguments about intention and then whether someone follows through with those intentions, the 61 y/o man INTENDED to rape a woman and he made a true ATTEMPT in that. He was stopped by the woman's ex-boyfriend and, as was pointed out, did not find out that she was trans (and still in possession of a penis) until later on. Had the trans woman been a biological woman and the man had been thwarted in his attempt to rape her in the exact same way (someone else disrupting it) it would be considered attempted rape. Therefore, the exact same crime should apply to this man because he took actions towards rape.

Now, I am not Swedish, nor am I a lawyer, so I do not know if attempted rape needs to be tried separately from rape or if a rape charge can be "lowered" to attempted rape.

One thing that I hope we can all agree on is that what the 61 y/o did was heinously wrong, regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of the individual, and the results of his crime will have a deep impact on the victim.
17:46 July 7, 2012 by Uncle
So you are transsexual woman? Cool. I never conversed with a person who separated the psychological and biological self and decided to balance the dissonance. I believe that the conversation could be very interesting, however unrelated to the topic.

Anyhow, your statistics (may I have a source in regards to the 50% of all men?) is related to the men who KNOW that the person is transsexual. Here is not the case.

In regards to the hobo robbing. You realize that a person who robs Brinks personnel, carrying cash bags and a person stealing a purse from a pensioner get different time in, don't you? The amount/circumstances play CRUCIAL role. Now, what a reasonable judge would do if NO ROBBERY has really taken place due to a mistake? Should he apply the maximum punishment available for robbery or the minimum?

Our society is based on the understanding that all men are good and innocent until DONE otherwise (you also realize the diff between "proven" and "done" - right?). Therefore, as a judge I would assume that this specific case should not get more than a simple battery of a person (that by itself barely took place). Which is 4 months and a fine. The judge is right. I am right. The guy goes home correctly.

So, anyways (the temptation is overwhelming :)). How can one feel oneself as a woman, if one is not? I mean, do all women really FEEL that they are women and should be women? I do not FEEL myself a man.. It is just a given.

As I do not feel myself an alien or neanderthal. As given I am a homo sapiens and it is hard for me to imagine that one could feel that he must be a neanderthal. I hope that I defined the question right, since I have no idea how to ask it. No insult, or patronizing is intended either. Just a humble attempt to understand.
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