A 17-year-old Syrian migrant was convicted of two counts of rape against a 12-year-old girl in a Swedish court this week, although he claimed he did not know that sex with a 12-year-old was illegal in the country.
By – Chris Tomlinson
The 17-year-old, who has been identified as a Syrian asylum seeker by Swedish journalist Joakim Lamotte, is said to have raped the 12-year-old twice on the same day last June.
However, after being convicted by the Uddevalla District Court this week he was sentenced to just six months of detention in a youth care facility and a 140,000 SEK (£11,729) fine, Expressen reports.
According to independent Swedish journalist Joakim Lamotte, the migrant, who came to Sweden in 2014, claimed that he did not know it was illegal to have sex with a girl under the age of 15 and said that the victim had told him she was 14 at the time.
The two counts of child rape were not the Syrian’s only crimes, as he was also sentenced for unlawful threats, threats to officials, and drug offences.
The 17-year-old’s lawyer commented on the ruling saying he was still examining the details and had not made up his mind whether or not to appeal the decision.
The case comes only days after a pair of Afghan migrants in the city of Ljungby were convicted of the rape and sexual assault of an anti-deportation activist. The Afghans, who met the woman outside a hotel, invited her back to their home where one of them raped her while the other molested her.
While some in the Swedish criminal system have highlighted that migrants make up a large proportion of rape suspects, such as lawyer Elisabeth Fritz, the Swedish government has been reluctant to release any statistics on the ethnic or migration background of criminal suspects.
Swedish Justice Minister Morgan Johansson has even gone as far as to propose censoring the judicial search engine website Lexbase, because some were using the service to identify the background of criminal suspects.
The new rules would see the site restricted to “professionals” such as lawyers and approved researchers only.
Read more: From 2018/04/07