A 27-year-old Swedish man has been cleared of rape because his 13-year-old victim, according to the judge, was curvaceous enough that the man couldn’t possibly have known better, Salon is reporting.
At issue in this case is Sweden’s age-of-consent laws, and the Scandinavian nation’s rape laws that some may consider antiquated.
According to Swedish newspaper The Local, the basic facts of the criminal case are as follows: the unnamed 13-year-old was on the run from foster care when she found herself at a playground in the Stockholm suburb of Västerås. Hungry, thirsty, and with neither money nor a cell phone, she struck up a conversation with the older man, who bought her a drink and eventually brought her to his home. DNA evidence on the victim’s underwear would later be used to confirm that two had sex.
There is no evidence that force was involved.
Under Swedish law, a person can consent to sex at age 15; having sex with a person under that age is considered child rape. However, there’s a rather large loophole in the law: to be guilty of rape, the alleged perpetrator has to know, or have reason to believe, that the victim is underage.
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