ONTD Political

Swedish court overturns rape conviction after forced ‘infidelity check’

2:20 pm - 02/22/2013
A SWEDISH COURT has overturned a rape conviction for a man who performed a forced “infidelity check” on his girlfriend, prompting calls for rape laws to be changed.

Rachid Zoghlami was convicted of rape and sentenced to two years and eight months in jail in December, after he penetrated his girlfriend with his fingers to determine whether she had been unfaithful. But a court of appeal in Stockholm ruled that the 28-year-old’s actions were to be viewed as coercion rather than rape since they weren’t driven by “sexual intent”, then reduced his sentence to 18 months behind bars.

“I believe this judgement is erroneous. My client is obviously disappointed. She finds it hard to understand the court’s reasoning,” the plaintiff’s lawyer, Marianne Jargenius, told AFP.

Zoghlami, who holds dual Finnish-Tunisian citizenship, admitted to being jealous but said he used no violence against girlfriend Carina Johansson, 30, when using two fingers to “search for sperm.” Johansson argued otherwise, claiming he ripped off her sweat pants and her underwear after allegedly threatening to perform an “infidelity check.”

The plaintiff and defendant had both taken a prescription drug used to treat alcoholism during their relationship, the court noted. The ruling prompted calls for the Swedish law to be changed to broaden the definition of a sexual crime.

“If I were to decide, these types of actions should be considered a sex crime,” Petter Asp, a professor of criminal law at Stockholm University told daily Svenska Dagbladet.

Source
maynardsong 22nd-Feb-2013 03:19 pm (UTC)
Noooo...I thought Sweden was the gold standard on rape culture...
jenny_jenkins 22nd-Feb-2013 03:22 pm (UTC)
Nope.

There isn't one.
jenny_jenkins 22nd-Feb-2013 03:24 pm (UTC)
There needs to a be simple definition - unwanted sexual touching to whatever degree = sexual assault.

For this reason I dislike the movement in Canada to bring back the crime of rape in the Criminal Code. I prefer it the way it is.
strixluna 22nd-Feb-2013 05:15 pm (UTC)
I don't know if it still is, but when I was growing up in VT on the state level rape was defined exactly as you describe in your first sentence. I remember being in like seventh grade and having a state trooper come talk to my class (it was a really small school). Granted, VT is tiny and nowhere near the Federal level... and by now it's probably changed as well.
jenny_jenkins 22nd-Feb-2013 05:22 pm (UTC)
The reasoning in Canada is that rape had two problems: stigma, and a very specific definition: penetration.

So the crime was taken entirely off the books. In Canada, strictly speaking after Ewanchuk (and people argue about this) it's also not "no means no" it's "yes means yes" and there is no such thing as mistaken belief in consent.

I would consider this the biggest problem in sex crimes.
ultraelectric 22nd-Feb-2013 03:32 pm (UTC)
It doesn't matter if they were or weren't driven by sexual intent, he forced himself on her. It's about power, control, etc.

I just can't sometimes when I read stories like this, it's so frustrating!!!!
othellia 22nd-Feb-2013 08:09 pm (UTC)
This. This. This.

We had a police officer come in and talk with us back in middle school, and he told us this story about a rapist they'd prosecuted. One woman got invited to his apartment, said 'no', and he forced himself on her. A second woman got invited to his apartment, said 'yes', and he tied her up and threatened her with a knife until she said 'no', and then forced himself on her. The first woman only came forward once the second woman did.

We were so confused, not understanding why he'd do that when she'd already consented. He made it very clear that, like you mentioned, it is about power and control. And for the courts to make a ruling like this, it is so ridiculous and naive and ignorant and frustrating and rage-worthy.
mastadge 22nd-Feb-2013 03:32 pm (UTC)
He "used no violence" while forcibly inserting parts of his body into another person's body? Isn't that a very definition of violence? There was no sexual intent while he was finger raping her to check on her sexual fidelity? What the fuck?
mingemonster 22nd-Feb-2013 03:34 pm (UTC)
Swedish rape laws are so, so terrible. There was a case recently where a woman was raped but since she just said no and froze up instead of fighting there was no conviction. I seriously want to strangle every single person involved in writing these laws.

Oh, and until recently a woman legally couldn't be raped if she was unconscious because she had been drinking or taking drugs of her own free will, it was only rape if she was drugged or coerced into drinking more than she wanted.

Any Assange supporters want to come in this post and talk about how "omg everything is rape according to Swedish law!!"?
ellonwye 22nd-Feb-2013 07:07 pm (UTC)
'Swedish rape laws are so, so terrible. There was a case recently where a woman was raped but since she just said no and froze up instead of fighting there was no conviction.'

Jesus CHRIST. Can you fucking imagine if this reasoning was applied to EVERY OTHER CRIME? Why is rape so different that it requires more rules and guidelines and interpretations and loopholes and FUCK
kittenmommy 22nd-Feb-2013 09:38 pm (UTC)

Maybe because so many of the laws are written by men?
moonshaz 23rd-Feb-2013 06:43 am (UTC)
Yeah, so let's see if I've got this straight...

If I give up my wallet to a mugger who is pointing a gun at me, because I would really rather not get killed, he is still guilty of robbing me, right?

But if I submit to a rapist who is pointing a gun at me, because I would really rather not get killed, he isn't guilty of rape?

Is that REALLY what you're telling me, Sweden?

All righty then. Remind me not to visit YOUR country any time soon. Or ever.

Edited at 2013-02-23 06:45 am (UTC)
mingemonster 22nd-Feb-2013 03:36 pm (UTC)
And wow at the article revealing her name. GG, journalists.
fragbert 22nd-Feb-2013 03:53 pm (UTC)
I wonder how much time behind bars a father would get for performing a "virginity check" on his teenaged daughter...
kittenmommy 22nd-Feb-2013 06:38 pm (UTC)

I suspect it depends on where it took place.

/is cynical.
wikilobbying 22nd-Feb-2013 09:32 pm (UTC)
unfortunately, i have the same cynicism. like, honestly, i would not be surprised to hear about some super evangelical father babbling about spiritual and physical purity to justify doing something that vile and then getting away with it because some equally vile judge decides that's totes reasonable behavior for a god-fearing christian father.

Edited at 2013-02-22 09:34 pm (UTC)
kittenmommy 22nd-Feb-2013 09:36 pm (UTC)

Yeah... that wouldn't surprise me either.
velvetunicorn 22nd-Feb-2013 03:56 pm (UTC)
Wtf?!
wikilobbying 22nd-Feb-2013 03:57 pm (UTC)
a;sldkfjgh no sexual assault is sexual assault. i don't give a fuck about how they want to argue his intent, it still boils down to exerting power and violence over another human being, and deeming yourself entitled to do so. and yes, it was violence. forced penetration is always violence, you jackasses.
muizenstaartje 22nd-Feb-2013 04:00 pm (UTC)
You know, I remember a case in my country in which three men were convicted of attempted rape with a banana. They claimed it wasn't meant sexually (It was a joke!), but the judge still ruled it as attempted rape. They each got 100 hours of community service.

So maybe I'm just jaded when I thought "Well, at least he still got 18 months in jail."
kittenmommy 22nd-Feb-2013 06:39 pm (UTC)

The plaintiff and defendant had both taken a prescription drug used to treat alcoholism during their relationship, the court noted.

Well, that's totally relevant information. Thanks, reporter!
blitzers 22nd-Feb-2013 06:52 pm (UTC)
inorite? i was side eyeing that shit too.
kittenmommy 22nd-Feb-2013 06:53 pm (UTC)

I'm really not sure what we were supposed to take from that comment. They were both drunks? He was drunk when he did that to her? She was drunk and so she deserved it?

IDEK.
vulturoso 22nd-Feb-2013 06:40 pm (UTC)
So tired of this shit. Every day it's something new.
furrygreen 22nd-Feb-2013 06:54 pm (UTC)
What exactly is a forced “infidelity check”? I've never heard that term before.
sadisticsidhe 22nd-Feb-2013 07:57 pm (UTC)
When I first read it, it sounded like someone was forcing HIM to check her for (presumably another man's) sperm.

I think an infidelity check believe it means he forcefully fingered her to check for evidence of sexual activity.

If you've ever seen Memoirs of a Geisha (a shit movie with pretty clothes and soundtrack) I would think it was like when the grandma 'checked' Hatsumomo.

Edited at 2013-02-22 07:58 pm (UTC)
furrygreen 22nd-Feb-2013 08:27 pm (UTC)
If you've ever seen Memoirs of a Geisha (a shit movie with pretty clothes and soundtrack) I would think it was like when the grandma 'checked' Hatsumomo.

That was a hymen check, though, not sperm (aka a virginity test.) If he's thinking she's sleeping around, I have to figure that they've had sex too so a forced "test" would be silly (I mean, people like this have to dominate. I can't imagine he'd not try to coerce her in some way.) How'd he know if it was sperm and what about condoms?
wikilobbying 22nd-Feb-2013 09:26 pm (UTC)
if the other user is referring to the scene where chiyo/sayuri spilled the beans on hatsumomo being with that guy, then i'm pretty sure that was not a hymen check/virginity test. if i recall correctly, hatsumomo was already a full-fledged geisha at the time, a well-known one at that, not a maiko. so the mizuage bidding and ceremony would have already been done before then.

regardless, mineko iwasaki already put that whole representation on blast anyway, and the article posted here already describes what the "infidelity check" consisted of.
kittenmommy 22nd-Feb-2013 09:39 pm (UTC)

Yeah. I never saw the movie, but that scene is in the book too. She was checking Hatsumomo for evidence of sexual activity after Chiyo ratted her out.
furrygreen 22nd-Feb-2013 09:46 pm (UTC)
Ah, yeah. I was thinking Chiyo when she first arrived. It's been a long time since I've read that book.

As for the "infidelity test", I don't mean how. I mean what/why. If it's a term that the gov't is accepting and reducing it down to coercion, then it would be some sort of "normal" test or something.

I mean, because in this day and age, I can't believe that any judge would be idiotic enough to think that sticking your fingers there is going to prove anything and I want to learn more about that.

Further, the professor at the end of the article said “If I were to decide, these types of actions should be considered a sex crime.” which makes me think that this is fairly normal.
wikilobbying 22nd-Feb-2013 10:48 pm (UTC)
well, i can't for the life of me understand how this "infidelity test" excuse is flying because it's utterly ridiculous as a concept.
furrygreen 23rd-Feb-2013 05:23 am (UTC)
Yeah, I know. XD I've never heard of it before. It's just that "if it were up to me" makes it sound like it's a rather common thing. I mean, if you tried that here you'd just get blank stares and it wouldn't be accepted by the justice system as a valid excuse...

Well, maybe not. There was that whole "Twinkie defense" thing.
sadisticsidhe 22nd-Feb-2013 10:18 pm (UTC)
That wasn't a hymen check in the movie. Hatsumomo was already a full fledged Geisha (and according to the movie and book which fucked this up) she would no longer be a virgin for no need for the grandma to check, she would know she wasn't a virgin.

Re the guy in the article. Well, they never claimed the guy was smart now did they? Obviously there were major flaws in his plan.
furrygreen 23rd-Feb-2013 05:24 am (UTC)
Re the guy in the article. Well, they never claimed the guy was smart now did they? Obviously there were major flaws in his plan.

XD! I never did either. I was just wondering if there was something in their legal system that allows this sort of shit to happen. That's all.
zinnia_rose 22nd-Feb-2013 11:12 pm (UTC)
Uh, I'm pretty sure Ms. Johansson doesn't really care what his "intent" was when he assaulted her.
shhh_its_s3cr3t 22nd-Feb-2013 11:19 pm (UTC)
WTF is this?
theloa 23rd-Feb-2013 01:22 am (UTC)
Exact same thing happened in Iceland a few weeks ago. Four male judges of the supreme court ruled that the charges in a very similar case should be changed to assault rather than rape since there was no sexual gratification in it for the rapist. The sole female judge ruled against them but was outnumbered. People were angry to say the least.
zinnia_rose 23rd-Feb-2013 07:55 am (UTC)
WTF? So if a rapist doesn't end up ejaculating it wouldn't count as rape because he wasn't gratified?!
poetic_pixie_13 23rd-Feb-2013 03:32 pm (UTC)


The plaintiff and defendant had both taken a prescription drug used to treat alcoholism during their relationship, the court noted.

This page was loaded Jul 24th 2014, 8:43 am GMT.