Supreme Court Decision Confounds Common Sense

Published February 1, 2013

The prosecuting attorney and the single female justice in a recent Supreme Court case involving sexual assault disagree strongly with the opinion of the other justices. Trigger warning: sexual assault details are included in this article.
The case in question saw four people – three men and one woman – accused of forcing their way into the home of a young woman in Hafnarfjörður in December 2011. The woman was physically assaulted by the group, among other ways, by having a a finger forcefully inserted into her anus and vagina against her will. Police charged the perpetrators of the act with sexual assault.
Amazingly, the four of the five Supreme Court justices – all of them male – ruled that this particular part of the attack was not sexual assault. The reason they gave was that the assault was not meant to achieve sexual gratification, but rather to “only” physically hurt the victim.
The only female justice on the case, Ingibjörg Benediktsdóttir, wrote a dissenting opinion. She referred to Article 194 of the Icelandic General Penal Code, which states: “Anyone who by means of violence or threats of violence forces a person to have carnal intercourse or other sexual intimacy shall be subject to imprisonment for no less than 1 year and up to 16 years. Violence is considered to include the deprivation of independence by means of confinement, pharmaceuticals or in other comparable ways.” The definition as such, she argued, it does not matter if the perpetrators were trying to gratify themselves sexually or not – the victim was sexually assaulted and humiliated by the ordeal.
Hulda Elsa Björgvinsdóttir, the prosecuting attorney in the case, agreed with Ingibjörg, saying that the court speculating on the thoughts of the perpetrator, rather than what the criminal act entailed, sets a bad precedent. She added that the matter was clearly a case of sexual torture.
Acquitted in the highest court in the country, the perpetrators cannot be tried again for the sexual assault charge. They were all, however, sentenced to prison for physical assault.



News
“Home Of Leifur Eiríksson” Mourns Beginning Of Trump Presidency

“Home Of Leifur Eiríksson” Mourns Beginning Of Trump Presidency

by

Today, Donald J. Trump officially becomes the 45th President of the United States of America. The entire world is aware

News
Icelanders Love Sugar, Not So Keen On Fruits And Vegetables

Icelanders Love Sugar, Not So Keen On Fruits And Vegetables

by

Icelanders eat more sugary foods and fewer fruits and vegetables than other Nordic peoples. At the same time, they also

News
Asylum Applications Triple Between The Years

Asylum Applications Triple Between The Years

by

Over 1,100 applications for asylum were submitted in 2016; about three times more than the year previous. Most of these

News
Faroese Conservatives Want To Host Trump-Putin Summit

Faroese Conservatives Want To Host Trump-Putin Summit

by

A conservative opposition party in the Faroese parliament believes their country would be the ideal hosts for a possible summit

News
First Poll Of New Year: Left-Greens Surge, Ruling Coalition Dips

First Poll Of New Year: Left-Greens Surge, Ruling Coalition Dips

by

The first Market and Media Research (MMR) poll of 2017 on levels of party support shows the ruling coalition taking

News
Arrests Made In Connection With Missing Woman

Arrests Made In Connection With Missing Woman

by

Three crew members of the Greenlandic ship Polar Nanoq were arrested by Icelandic police yesterday in connection with the disappearance

Show Me More!