By asking? Checking?
A Swedish court acquitted a 27-year-old man of raping a 13-year-old girl because she looked older. Add this to similar cases in the U.S. and U.K., and we’ve got a sickening problem.
A man who raped a 13-year-old girl has been acquitted on the grounds that her body was “well-developed” for her age. The Swedish teenager had lodged an appeal against the ruling on her perpetrator, 27, but it was thrown out of court this week as officials decided her figure exempted him from blame as he “could not have known” how old she was.
This latest case is horrifying, but it’s not the first in recent history to expose how authorities around the world mistreat young rape victims. Earlier this year, a London judge accused a 16-year-old girl of “grooming” her 44-year-old teacher for sex, likening her actions to a stalker and telling the older man: “If anything, it was she who groomed you. You gave way to temptation at a time when you were emotionally vulnerable because of problems with your wife’s pregnancy.”
Add to this the Montana judge who dismissed a 14-year-old girl as “older than her chronological age” after she was raped by her 47-year-old teacher, and therein lies a very bleak picture of our attitudes toward young victims of sexual assault.
The regular refrain espoused by prosecutors and judges—that these girls seem beyond their years, and therefore cannot benefit from the protective laws afforded to others of their age group—is a paltry excuse.”
But hell, yeah, men should have the right to use ladies’ bathrooms, and 12 year old children need to roleplay being in sexual relationships.
Mixed messages, anyone?