Swedish court overturns acquittal in transgender rape case

A court of appeals in Sweden has overturned the acquittal of a man charged with raping a transgender woman. The ruling comes more than a year after the incident, in which a 61-year-old male was accused of sexually assaulting a transgender woman in a violent attack. However, Örebro District Court later determined that rape was not possible because the victim was born with male genitalia.

But this week saw Göta Court of Appeal rule against the findings of the Örebro judge by convicting the attacker of attempted rape. Officials from the court said that although the Örebro judge was correct in ruling that the rape could never have physically taken place, the assailant had fully intended to follow through with the rape. Moreover, the court noted that the victim dressed and appeared exactly like a woman, meaning that it was worth approaching the attempted assault charge “seriously”.

Prosecutor Eva Grandestedt told reporters from the SVT news agency, “It’s a relief to get a conviction; the punishment is in line with what I had asked for. This ruling shows that you can convict for attempted rape regardless of the gender identity of the victim.”

The attacker was sentenced to a 15 months jail time and was ordered to pay SEK 40,000 (EUR 4,638) in compensation.