Feminisme

Man Convicted of Rape After Removing Condom During Sex Without Consent

In a landmark decision, a Swiss court has convicted a man who took off his condom without his partner's permission. Legal experts weigh in.
January 12, 2017, 5:49pm

In a landmark legal case, a Swiss man has been convicted of rape after secretly removing a condom during sex without his partner's consent.

The Independent reports the 47-year-old man (who has not been named publicly) met his partner on Tinder and they began to have consensual sex with a condom. Afterwards, the woman realized he had removed the condom at some point without her knowledge or approval.

Now, the Federal Supreme Court in Lausanne—the highest court in Switzerland—has judged that such actions do constitute rape, passing down a one-year suspended sentence. In comments to news agency RTS, the victim's lawyer described it as "a first in Switzerland."

Our understanding of consent has evolved hugely in recent years, thanks largely to the dedicated work of feminist activists and anti-sexual violence campaigners. However, for many a question mark hovers over whether removing a condom during sex is legally the same as rape. For the avoidance of any doubt: under UK law, it is.

"This comes down to a discussion about 'conditional consent,'" says Dr. Sinead Ring of the University of Kent. Ring refers me to the Sexual Offences Act 2003, which she describes as a "really good piece of law." In particular, Section 74 of the act covers conditional consent. In it, everyone's least favorite self-styled anti-government warrior gets a mention.

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