Attempted rape of transwoman not classified as rape

A man in the Swedish city Örebro was acquitted from charges of attempted rape against a transwoman since there was no possibility of the rape ever being achieved, according to the judge. Since the woman did not in fact have a vagina, she could not be raped and thereby the man was freed from charges. The judge stated that: “The intended crime never had the possibility of being fulfilled” and that: “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”.

Even though the attacker did “grab at the victims crotch” the charges of attempted rape were denied. Since the attacker also severely beat the woman he was found guilty of assault and made to pay a sum of around $ 2,000.

The fact that the attacker was cleared of charges of attempted rape on the basis that the woman was assigned male at birth is extremely concerning. The reasoning behind the verdict suggests that the woman is not seen as a woman because she lacks female genitalia, despite how she defines herself and despite the identity that she adopts. Since she was not always female the court means that she cannot be treated as a woman who was attacked and beaten with the intention of the attacker raping her. Secondly, the court is completely denying the woman her identity by claiming that she is a man because she was assigned male at birth, again despite how she identifies. According to the judge’s logic rape against a transperson could never be classified as a crime unless the rapist knew that the person they intended to rape had transitioned from male to female or female to male. It is so problematic that the attempted rape is not of concern to the court just because it did not include or did not have the possibility of the type of penetration that the court assumes classifies rape.

The court also appears to ignore the fact that the attacker was said to have touched the victim’s crotch. Does this then mean that the woman was not sexually attacked, despite whatever genitalia she might have? The court thereby appears to ignore that there are other types of rape except for vaginal rape. The court also stated that the man truly believed that this person was a woman (which she is) since he repeatedly referred to the victim as her. Ironically, the court took this as proof that the attacker intended to rape a woman and since (according to the court) the victim was a man, the attacker was freed from rape charges. The judge stating that “she turned out to be a man”, shows how truly ignorant the court and the judge are in regards to LGTBQ matters and how transphobic and incorrect their reasoning was.


  1. Sounds fair to me. If there wasn’t any rape involved, what should he be charged with, thought crime? Attempted sexual assault would work, or even battery.. But rape is taking it too far.

    “Secondly, the court is completely denying the woman her identity by claiming that she is a man because she was assigned male at birth, again despite how she identifies.”

    I often refer to myself as a penguin, but courts refuse to legally recognize me as such. OH, the injustice!

    • Are you really trying to equate gender identity to you calling yourself a penguin? Wow. Way to show your ignorance.

      And as far as the charges are concerned, the issue here is that this was dismissed explicitly because the victim is transgender. They didn’t dismiss the charges because the rape was not completed, they dismissed the charges because, according to them, a transwoman can’t be raped. This is the kind of thing that directly illustrates how society makes public spaces unsafe to trans*people & it sends a message to would-be rapists that “if you want to get away with it, rape a trans*person because they don’t count.”

  2. If you read the entire article, the perpetrator was acquitted of attempted rape, not rape, as you say “But rape is taking it too far”. As we point out, attempted rape, or as you said “attempted sexual assault” would have been a reasonable charge. So therefore, I do not really understand your point!

  3. Well, it just took until this year for the FBI to update its definition of rape. After much pressure. Really makes you wonder whose delicate sensibilities they’ve been tiptoing around …

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