Transgender woman appeals rape acquittal

A transgender woman who was the victim of an attempted rape has appealed a Swedish court’s decision to clear the offender of the charges after the court argued the rape was "impossible" because the victim was still biologically a man.

“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.

TT/The Local/og

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