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justice system

Legal Limit for Violent Sex Up In Court

Published söndag 6 juni 2010 kl 13.21

In a landmark case, a Swedish court in Malmö will take up the question of how violent consensual sex can be before it crosses the line to assault, news agency TT writes. The issue has never been ruled on before.

The case at stake involves a 16-year-old girl who had violent sex with a 32-year-old man she met on a website. According to the man’s instructions, the girl wrote a letter saying that she wanted to be “exploited, tormented and properly degraded.” When the two met, the 32-year-old locked her up in a dog cage and fastened clamps on her nipples, among other things.

One of the girl’s friends contacted the police after she saw the 16-year-old’s bruises, and an investigation began.

Yet prosecutor Ulrika Rogland excludes the possibility of rape, as the sex was indeed consensual. But the question remains: is it permissible to be that violent towards a person even if he or she has consented to it?

“What I want to push for is that even if they say they’ve agreed to do this, one cannot assault a person that gravely. That’s what the district court has to decide: is this aggravated assault, and could she really consent to that?” she said to newspaper Sydsvenskan.

Lena Holmqvist, senior lecturer in criminal law at Uppsala University, says that the case is unique.

“Now we can really put the key issue to the test: the extent to which consent can preclude responsibility for violent sex,” Holmqvist told TT.

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