In a case that wrapped up at Svea Court of Appeals (Svea Hovrätt) in early February, a 28-year-old man who had ripped his girlfriend’s trousers and underwear off in a fit of jealousy was cleared of rape. The crime was instead reclassified as “unlawful coercion,” which entailed a significant reduction in his sentence.
The ruling raised eyebrows in Sweden after the Court of Appeals explained its judgement by saying the attack was “not sexual in nature.
Following initial media reports about the Stockholm case, reports emerged that the Göta Court of Appeal in Jönköping (Göta hovrätt) had also ruled in a similar case. Instead of throwing out the sex crime conviction, judges underscored that the act of inserting fingers into a woman’s genitals was in itself a “sexual violation”.
“It doesn’t matter what the purpose was,” appeals council Andréa Erliden told the TT news agency.
“It relates to the woman’s sexuality.”
The second man, who had forced his girlfriend to take off her underwear to undergo the “infidelity check,” was convicted of sexual coercion.
In the previous case, that of the 28-year-old man in central Sweden who saw the rape verdict quashed, the defendant had torn his partner’s clothes off.
Erliden told TT she would welcome a clarification of the legal code.