This afternoon, I was appalled by news that a 20-year-old man found guilty for rape in Sweden was sentenced to probation - a suspended sentence on the promise of good behavior - for such a serious crime. This case is yet another reminder that Sweden ought to do more to protect victims of rape by slapping sex offenders with more severe sentences.
According to The Local - a local news outlet in Sweden - the 20-year-old sex offender was charged with raping an intoxicated 25-year-old woman after a party in December 2010. The 20-year-old denied all charges but later confessed on his Facebook page.
A district court in Solna - a municipality north of Sweden's capital, Stockholm, found the offender guilty on grounds of his Facebook confession and sentenced him to probation.
Another man who assisted the offender during the incident was slapped with a mere 6,000 Swedish Kronor ($940) fine.
With due respect for the Swedish judicial system - this court verdict gives the unnamed offenders in question an easy way out of an abominable crime. Light sentences for serious crimes do not adequately deter offenders. Sweden should do more to protect victims of rape and other forms of violence by ensuring that offenders bear the full weight of the law.
It is worth mentioning that many in Sweden are concerned that convicted sex offenders in the Scandinavian country are not named or identified. They enjoy absolute privacy while victims remain at risk.
In 2009, a 28-year-old woman and her 29-year-old boyfriend were found guilty for rape of two minors (17-year-old girls). The two sex offenders were not named or identified.
Sex offenders should be identified. This will go a long way to prevent repeat offences since potential victims will identify a predator and take necessary steps to avoid an incident.
Sweden reportedly has the "highest incidence of reported rapes in Europe" and a corresponding "low conviction rate."
The state should do more to protect victims of rape and ensure that sex offenders do not enjoy impunity.
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