The Supreme Court of Finland (KKO) on Thursday announced it has turned down a leave to appeal against a decision not to convict a man who had sexual intercourse with a 10-year-old girl of rape.
The roughly 18-month-old case has received a great deal of publicity because the perpetrator was sentenced to three years in prison for aggravated child sexual abuse by both the District Court of Pirkanmaa and Turku Court of Appeal.
Both of the courts ruled that while the man had had sexual intercourse with the victim, the prosecution failed to substantiate its claim that the victim had been unable to defend herself and express her lack of consent due to being in a state of fear or helplessness. The prosecution filed an appeal against both of the rulings, demanding that the offender be also convicted of aggravated rape.
All three rulings have provoked calls for amending the provisions on sex crimes in Finland.
“The focus should be on whether both sides are able to express or form consent. Ten-year-olds are not capable of expressing whether they want sex or not,” Matti Tolvanen, a professor of criminal law at the University of Eastern Finland, commented to Helsingin Sanomat on Thursday.
Antti Häkkänen (NCP), the Minister of Justice, announced last month that the government has earmarked funds for raising the punishments dished out for sex crimes – especially against children – and reducing the legislative ambiguity in cases where the provisions on rape and child sexual abuse are currently applied simultaneously.
Helsingin Sanomat, however, wrote that the legal experts it contacted believe the provisions on sex crimes are in need of a thorough overhaul rather than minor adjustments.
“The provisions have so far been revised here and there, which has led to the law being difficult to interpret. The relationship between sexual abuse and rape is currently very problematic,” said Minna Kimpimäki, a professor of criminal law at the University of Lapland.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi