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CRIME

Forced ‘infidelity check’ is rape: Supreme Court

The Swedish Supreme Court (Högsta domstolen) has ruled that performing an "infidelity check" on a woman is a form of rape, overturning a lower court ruling that cleared a man who tore off his wife's pants and underwear in an attempt to determine whether she had had sex with another man.

Forced 'infidelity check' is rape: Supreme Court

“If a man forces a woman to tolerate him putting his fingers in her genitals, then the incident has a tangible sexual character that is capable of violating her sexual integrity. It is therefore a question of a punishable sexual act,” the Supreme Court wrote in a statement on Thursday.

“The circumstances in this case are such that the act shall be deemed as rape, no less aggravated rape.”

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 in Februrary.

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.

In 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 lower court wrote in its ruling at the time.

The Supreme Court rejected these claims, however, arguing that it is a sexual act to force “fingers or objects in a woman’s genitals. The purpose of the incident is irrelevant,” it claimed.

The fact that the incident is deemed as rape is due to the fact that the man used violence and threats when he “dug around” in the woman’s genitals, the court said.

The Supreme Court has also requested that the Svea Court of Appeal address questions about penalties and damages.

TT/The Local/og

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CRIME

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

A man was shot to death in Kristianstad, Skåne, late on Thursday night. He is the 48th person to be shot dead in Sweden this year, meaning that the previous record for most fatal shootings in one year set in 2020 has now been broken.

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

“Unfortunately we can’t say more than that he’s in his twenties and we have no current suspects,” duty officer Mikael Lind told TT newswire.

According to police statistics, this most recent deadly shooting means that 48 people have been shot to death in 2022, meaning that Sweden has broken a new record for deadly shootings per year.

Earlier this week, Sweden’s police chief Anders Thornberg said that this number is likely to rise even higher before the end of the year.

“It looks like we’re going to break the record this year,” he told TT on Tuesday. “That means – if it continues at the same pace – around 60 deadly shootings.”

“If it ends up being such a large increase that would be very unusual,” said Manne Gerell, criminiologist at Malmö University.

“We saw a large increase between 2017 and 2018, and we could see the same now, as we’re on such low figures in Sweden. But it’s still worrying that it’s increasing by so much over such a short time period,” he said.

There also seems to be an upwards trend in the number of shootings overall during 2022. 273 shootings had occured by September 1st this year, compared with 344 for the whole of 2021 and 379 for the whole of 2020.

If shootings continue at this rate for the rest of 2022, it is likely that the total number for the year would be higher than 2021 and 2020. There are, however, fewer injuries.

“The majority of shootings cause no injuries, but this year, mortality has increased substantially,” Gerell explained. “There aren’t more people being shot, but when someone is shot, they’re more likely to die.”

Thursday’s shooting took place in Kristianstad, but it’s only partially true that deadly gun violence is becoming more common in smaller cities.

“It’s moved out somewhat to smaller cities, but we’re overexaggerating that effect,” Gerell said. “We’re forgetting that there have been shootings in other small cities in previous years.”

A report from the Crime Prevention Council (Brå) presented last spring showed that Sweden, when compared with 22 different countries in Europe, was the only one with an upwards trend for deadly shootings.

Temporary increases can be seen during some years in a few countries, but there were no countries which showed such a clear increase as Sweden has seen for multiple years in a row, according to Brå.

The Swedish upwards trend for deadly gun violence began in the beginning of the 2000s, but the trend took off in 2013 and has continued to increase since.

Eight of ten deadly shootings take place in criminal environments, the study showed. The Swedish increase has taken place in principle only among the 20-29 year old age group.

When police chief Anders Thornberg was asked how the trend can be broken, he said that new recruitments are one of the most important factors.

“The most important thing is to break recruitment, make sure we can listen encrypted and that we can get to the profits of crime in a better way,” he said.

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