Rape Charges Cleared Against Swedish Man Because Victim Was Transgender Woman

This is extremely problematic: a Swedish judge cleared the charges of a man accused of committing a violent attempted rape, noting that the victim was a transgender woman and that “the intended crime [of raping a cisgender woman] never had the possibility of being fulfilled.”

Sweden’s The Local reports:

When the 61-year-old man had tried to commit the rape in Örebro, he had no idea that the intended victim was actually a man in women’s clothes, who had been taking hormonal treatment to reach the “right” identity, wrote the paper [Nerikes Allehanda].

After following the woman for some time, the would-be rapist was “brutally violent” in the “attempted rape”, tearing off the victim’s pants and grabbing at the victim’s crotch, according to the paper.

The incident occurred in front of the victim’s ex-boyfriend’s house, and it was him who came rushing to intervene. When police arrived, they arrested the attacker.

However, the court has ruled that the 61-year-old had intended to rape a woman, as he had been following her before the attack, making a conscious decision to rape her specifically. The man also referred to his victim as “she” throughout the court case.

As this “woman” was actually a man, his intentions were impossible to commit as the rape could never be completed.

“We believe that he wanted to rape this woman in particular. But as she turned out to be a man, the crime never was actually committed,” said [judge Dan] Sjöstedt [of the Örebro District Court], adding that the case against rape was “invalid”.

“There are different theories about how this should be handled, and so we’re looking forward to seeing the verdict from the Court of Appeals,” he said, adding that he would appeal the decision if he were the prosecutor or the defense.

Despite the rape charges being dismissed, the 61-year-old was convicted of assault and sentenced to pay 15,000 kronor ($2153) in damages to the victim; he may also spend up to four years in prison.