The man had previously been convicted of rape by a lower court after he tore off his girlfriend’s clothes and forced his fingers into her genitals on suspicion that she had been unfaithful, legal trade publication Dagens Juridik reported.
The lower court had also convicted the man of several other charges related to repeated assaults and threats directed against girlfriend in a relationship that had been marked by jealousy and suspicion.
But upon reviewing the case, the Svea Court of Appeal threw out the rape conviction, arguing that the man’s actions weren’t sexual in nature.
Both the man and his girlfriend testified that the act was an attempt to ascertain whether or not the woman had engaged in sexual activity with another man.
“His action can therefore not be seen as having a sexual character such that it can be regarded as a sexual act according to the criminal code,” the court wrote in its ruling.
The appeals court instead found the man guilty of unlawful coercion and reduced his jail sentence from two years and eight months to 14 months in prison.
The woman’s defence attorney slammed the court’s ruling for how it might affect similar cases in the future.
“There is a risk that a perpetrator may claim an act didn’t involve any sexual desire and thus hide behind the argument even if the truth is otherwise,” attorney Marianne Jargenius told the Metro newspaper.
It remains unclear whether or not the new court ruling will also be appealed.