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
Pirates Attempt 5-Party Coalition, Conservatives With Their Own Ideas

Pirates Attempt 5-Party Coalition, Conservatives With Their Own Ideas

by

Informal talks between the Pirate Party and the Social Democrats, the Left-Greens, the Reform Party and Bright Future are underway.

News
Message In Bottle From Iceland Found After 11 Years

Message In Bottle From Iceland Found After 11 Years

by

A message in a bottle sent by a nine-year-old girl in 2005 has been found, washed up on the shores

News
Music Video Release “Both Eyes On You” By Auður

Music Video Release “Both Eyes On You” By Auður

by

Auður has been on the rise ever since he released his impressive self-directed music video for ‘South America.’ The 23 year old

News
Afghan Family Who Fled Taliban To Be Deported

Afghan Family Who Fled Taliban To Be Deported

by

A family of seven, who fled persecution from the Taliban for a better life in Iceland, will be deported to

News
Election 2016: Pirate Party Receives Mandate To Form Coalition Government

Election 2016: Pirate Party Receives Mandate To Form Coalition Government

by

President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson announced just moments ago that he gave Pirate Party captain Birgitta Jónsdóttir the mandate to form

News
Sushi Samba Cannot Call Itself Sushi Samba Anymore

Sushi Samba Cannot Call Itself Sushi Samba Anymore

by

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Icelandic restaurant Sushi Samba can no longer use this name, as the owners

Show Me More!