Rapist acquitted in Sweden because intended female victim turned out to be transgender

Woman or trans woman, rape is rape.

THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — Örebro (Sweden) District Court Judge Dan Sjöstedt acquitted the rapist because the transwoman had no vagina, the planned rape would have been impossible to carry out. [I’m constructing this from a Swedish translation into English]

The attacker brutally beat the victim and ripped off her pants in an attempt to rape her. A witness rushed to the scene and intervened. The police came and arrested the attacker.

While the Örebro District Court is convinced the man was trying to rape the woman,  they ruled that it was in fact a woman the man wanted to rape, not a ‘physical man’ and although the fact that the victim had undergone hormone therapy to change gender was considered, the court ruled there was no completed rape.

The attacker may be (or is being) charged with a much lessor charge, the translation isn’t quite clear.

While obviously this is not a good precedent for trans people, I am hoping that international transgender organizations look into this incident.

If you know Swedish or become aware of an English news report of this incident, (there isn’t one as of this writing), please post in the comment section below so we can correctly follow this story.

(My thanks to Johanna for the tip!)


na.se/nyheter/orebro/1.1721191-valdtaktsforsok-blev-misshandel – Translator.

Woman or trans woman, rape is rape.


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Categories: Discrimination, Equality, Civil Rights, Transgender, Transsexual, Trans

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38 replies

  1. The rapist was freed of charges because the victim, a transgendered woman did not have a vagina. The crime though is aimed at the mental integrity of the person. This is against the Charter of Fundamental Rights of The European Union, article 3 that became applicable law after the ratification of the Lisbon treaty. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/treaties/dat/32007X1214/htm/C2007303EN.01000101.htm

  2. The rapist is sentenced for sexual abuse to four months in prison, and he is fined 15000 swedish kronor which he will pay to the transsexual woman….
    According to the article they will probably press further charges to a higher instance called “Hovrätten”.

    • No. According to the article i Nerikes Allehanda, the rapist was sentenced for battery, not sexual abuse.

    • 15000 kronor is $2,136, so fairly paltry, but useful. I fail to see why “attempted rape” would have been invalid, since the perpetrator had that intention. Perhaps a higher court will see it differently. But the law in Sweden – because it was perhaps the first to legislatively recognise a change of sex – is still that SRS is necessary to change legal status, as well as having followed the other requirements of the set protocol, which includes treatment at set institutions. Other countries used that as a precedent for more liberal requirements, so don’t knock it too hard.

  3. I suppose this means much of what happens in prisons isn’t rape either, according to thos logic .

  4. Next level genital-sexism …

  5. Courtney, would it be okay for you if we translated this article for a German forum? A link back to the original would be provided.

  6. well shes lucky.. if you call it lucky.. a lot of these cases lead to the victims death.. the courts are clearly biased here. which is strange.. considering Sweden I think was wold renound for srs operations since i can remember.. they are the pioneer country in this feild.. unless im thinking Switzerland

  7. hey! first of all, thanks for drawing attention this totally messed up crap. however, i have one problem. not that i want to police your use of gendered language, but i feel like the caption to the photo might be problematic. instead of writing \”woman or trans woman…\” i feel like some people might be more comfortable with \”cis woman or trans woman…\”.
    (to be totally honest, i am a cis man, so this is really more of a question than a suggestion)

  8. Joe, writing headlines are always troublesome — adding cis would cause confusion for those outside the TG community, but generally, yeah, I agree with you that the headline could be better.

    • There’s a very simple solution here that makes it both respectful and accessible to people unfamiliar with the latest way of essentialising people based on whether others recognise their gender (frankly not the best way to describe people anyway, if our goal is to humanise people to the public and to promote genuine equality and inclusion). How about changing the headline to ‘All women are women, rape is rape’? I think simply leaving the caption as is after the valid comments people have posted here will come across as unresponsive to many of your readers. I also hope Swedish activists will circulate a petition and file formal human rights complaints against this travesty. I know many of us outside of Sweden will gladly support any local efforts.

      • (It’s after midnight on July 8th where I am, so I’m not sure why my post shows as being yesterday afternoon.)

        And btw, many people whom others would label ‘TG’ are not part of any ‘community’, but are instead isolated or part of other communities that relate to their religion, cultural heritage, or interests and not specifically to their history of having a gender that other people did not recognise. Some people whose genders were or are not recognised by those who assigned their birth designation do identify as ‘trans’, but others do not. I think it’s helpful to avoid imposing the label ‘trans’ automatically without first making sure those being described find that description accurate to their own experience and self-description.

        • Thanks for commenting. I believe WordPress uses the time/date of the blogger’s locale. Due to the nature of the internet and importance of keywords in search engines, I pretty much have to use “trans” or “transgender” in my headlines if my articles are to find their way to the right readers — that pretty much concludes further debate about that even if there is a valid argument there. But thanks for the feedback. 🙂

  9. A number of people pointed out (reddit r/lgbt) that the person wasn’t actually “freed” as my headline suggests. He still faces lessor charges. “Freed” came up in the translation. So, to avoid further confusion, I’ll change it to “not guilty”. Thanks for bringing it up.

  10. that is not right! the guy should have had his full charges … idk what others think… its just not right for him to get away with that!

  11. Rape attempt
    became ill

    The man wanted to rape the woman – but nevertheless acquitted of the Örebro District Court. The explanation: The woman turned out to be a man.
    – The accused criminal plan had never been possible to complete, says judge Dan Sjöstedt.

    The 61-year-old man attacked the victims outside the gate where her ex-boyfriend lived. 61-year-old knocked over the woman and beat her then brutally. He tried to rape the woman by ripping off her pants and he should also have taken her in the groin.

    The former boyfriend witnessed the attack and rushed down from the apartment and intervened.

    The man was arrested
    The police arrived on scene and arrested the man. He was arrested and charged after the rape trial.

    But now freed 61-year-old of the Örebro District Court – despite the fact that the court considers it proven that man wanted to rape the woman. He was not looking for anyone, but had its sights set on her.

    But it was precisely as a woman that he wanted to rape her, wrote the district court in its judgment.

    It turned out that the victim was physically a man – something that 61-year-old had no idea about. When he attacked her, she was dressed in women’s clothes and during the trial, he talked constantly about her as “she.” It was also that she had a hormone therapy for several years to achieve the right identity.

    Infeasible plan
    This makes the rape trial could never lead to a completed rape, according to the district court.
    -We believe that he wanted to rape me this woman. But as she proved to be a man, his crime plan never have been possible, says judge in the case, Dan Sjöstedt.

    The legal term for this is that the offense is “unfit”. The concept is unusual, according to Sjöstedt, it is not precisely defined what is meant by this.
    -There are different theories about how to handle this so we look forward to the Court of Appeal judgment, says brands.

    You are thus assured that the judgment will be appealed?
    -Yes, that would in any case I do if I were a prosecutor or defense counsel.

    61-year-old convicted now as opposed to physical abuse. The punishment will be four months in prison and he will also pay 15 000 dollars in damages to the woman.

    [Google Translated news item]

  12. I love the slogan “Woman or trans woman, rape is rape”. That is exactly the point. I as a transwoman am also a woman – due to the fact that I was born in the wrong body, but have a brain ticking feminine. 🙂

    No person ever has the right to hurt me in any kind of way. Even when he/she thinks she can do this. We as transwomen ARE NORMAL PEOPLE – NORMAL WOMEN – AND WOULD LOVE TO BE TREATED LIKE THIS!!! 😦

    Unfortunately, discrimination against us is still not only a simple fact. It is our life. From me – my own part – I can say that I also discovered many things where everyone of you immediately thinks ‘You cannot do that with a woman’. But it still happened – some months ago…

    One time when waiting for the train to leaving Berlin’s underground station “Hermannstraße”, four arabic men discriminated me brutally with words, threw a chewing gum into my hair (I couldn’t see it when it happened) and afterwards tried to burn me down. Another time I was hit by a arabic man in Kreuzberg although I had done nothing – I simply defended myself from a series of brutally discriminating sentences and words… :……..-(

    That is my life. That is what I as a transwoman have to fight with. I’m just a normal girl, born in the wrong body. And due to that, nobody has any right for treating me that bad. I’m just a normal girl – and WANT LOVE…


  13. What a bizarre ruling. So if a lesbo attempted to rape another woman, and it turned out to be a man, would that not be rape? Or vice versa, if the woman thought it was a man, and in turned out to be a woman?

  14. I wonder what the judge would call it if he (the judge) was beaten and forced to endure anal intercourse against his will.

  15. “Woman or trans woman, rape is rape”.

    I say take it a few steps further “Women, trans woman, man, child or adult, rape is rape.”


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