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The Swedish Sexual Molestation Law

Penal Code, Chapter 6, Section 10

“A person who, otherwise than as previously provided in this Chapter, sexually touches a child under fifteen years of age or induces the child to undertake or participate in an act with sexual implications, shall be sentenced for sexual molestation to a fine or imprisonment for at most two years.
This also applies to a person who exposes himself or herself to another person in a manner that is likely to cause discomfort, or who otherwise by word or deed molests a person in a way that is likely to violate that person’s sexual integrity.”

Comment

Swedish for sexual molestation is “sexuellt ofredande”. A typical crime is touching someones behind.

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The Swedish Rape Law

An analysis of the Swedish rape law.

Penal Code, Chapter 6, Section 1

“A person who by assault or otherwise by violence or by threat of a criminal act forces another person to have sexual intercourse or to undertake or endure another sexual act that, having regard to the nature of the violation and the circumstances in general, is comparable to sexual intercourse, shall be sentenced for rape to imprisonment for at least two and at most six years.

This shall also apply if a person engages with another person in sexual intercourse or in a sexual act which under the first paragraph is comparable to sexual intercourse by improperly exploiting that the person, due to unconsciousness, sleep, intoxication or other drug influence, illness, physical injury or mental disturbance, or otherwise in view of the circumstances in general, is in a helpless state.

If, in view of the circumstances associated with the crime, a crime provided for in the first or second paragraph is considered less aggravated, a sentence to imprisonment for at most four years shall be imposed for rape.

If a crime provided for in the first or second paragraph is considered gross, a sentence to imprisonment for at least four and at most ten years shall be imposed for gross rape. In assessing whether the crime is gross, special consideration shall be given to whether the violence or threat was of a particularly serious nature or whether more than one person assaulted the victim or in any other way took part in the assault or whether the perpetrator having regard to the method used or otherwise exhibited particular ruthlessness or brutality.” (Chapter 6 of the Swedish Penal Code 1962:700)

Analysis

I will simplify the analysis by only considering a few cases, the cases where there is some kind of violence or a helpless state of sleep, and some kind of sexual act. This gives a matrix of four cases.

The violence necessary is stated like this “ett betvingande av den andres kroppsliga rörelsefrihet” (Prop 2004/05:45), which means you hold someone so that her possibilities to move freely is limited or move some part of her by force. It could be illegal even if she doesn’t resist.

The sexual act could be penetration of the womans vagina by the mans sex, which would give a normally aggravated crime, or that the mans genitals only touches the womans genitals, which would give a less aggravated crime (RH 2010:6).

The less aggravated crime would give a sentence of up to four years of prison. The normally aggravated crime would give a sentence of two to six years in prison.

In many cases word stands against word. In case the court has no reason not to believe the woman, it will (Newsmill:Pelle Billing). The more serious the abuse, the higher the compensation.

Examples

An example of a less aggravated crime is that the mans genitals touches the womans when she is asleep.

An example of a normally aggravated crime is that the mans sex penetrates a womans vagina when she is asleep.

An example of a less aggravated crime is that the mans genitals touches the womans when he is holding her in some way. She doesn’t have to resist.

An example of a normally aggravated crime is that the mans sex penetrates a womans vagina when he is holding her in some way. She doesn’t have to resist.

Sentences

Touching the genitals of a woman that you are holding steady or who is asleep with your genitals can give up to four years in prison.

Having sex with a woman that you are holding steady or who is asleep when you start can give two to six years in prison.

Summary

As we can see the line between normal sex and rape is subtle or non-existent, the sentences are long, the compensations high and there doesn’t have to be any crime, it’s enough that the court believes the woman when she says there was one.