Update: trans woman receives justice in attempted rape case

Earlier this year we reported on a case in which the attempted rape of a trans woman was not treated as such  because the victim has a penis and not a vagina. Despite the fact that the attacker intended to rape the woman, the perpetrator was acquitted on the basis that the rape could never have been completed (if one bases his/her assumptions about sexual assault or rape on traditional vaginal intercourse which is heterosexist). The case received attention because it clearly discriminated against trans women by making the direct claim that a trans woman could not be raped or experience an attempted rape if her transition was not “completed”. Thereby, sexual violence against trans women was classified as something that is unlikely to happen.

We are however glad to report that the court has now changed its verdict. The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL) writes in an article that the court came to the conclusion that the perpetrator intended to rape his victim and there was nothing holding him back. Even if this man did not “complete” the assault, his intention was in fact to rape, thereby he is being charged with attempted rape.

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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. [Read more...]