Sexual offences

Since 1 July 2018, Sweden has had legislation for sexual offences based on the concept of voluntariness. This means that a perpetrator can be convicted of rape even without the use of threats or violence. Sex should be voluntary. Therefore, the courts must closely examine whether any such voluntariness has been expressed through words or deeds or in some other way.

As was the case prior to the legislative change, a person who uses violence or threats to force another person into sexual acts can still be convicted of rape. Even a person who exploits another person by having sex with them whilst they are, for example, sleeping, unconscious, very drunk, under the influence of drugs or due to other circumstances are non-responsive and are in what is referred to as a particularly vulnerable situation can still be convicted of rape.

Two new crimes have been introduced

Two new crimes have also been introduced: negligent rape and negligent sexual assault. This means that a perpetrator can be convicted of assault or rape if they should have realised that the other person was not participating voluntarily yet they still performed a sexual act with that person.

Sentences for sexual offences

For rape not deemed serious, a person will be imprisoned for a minimum of three years and a maximum of six years. For negligent rape, a person can be imprisoned for a maximum of four years and for negligent sexual assault, a sentence of imprisonment for a maximum of four years can be imposed. For serious rape, a person is sentenced to imprisonment for a minimum of five years and a maximum of ten years.

The Development Centre is responsible for compiling knowledge and expertise in the area of sexual offences.