Sex With A 10-Year-Old Is Not Rape, Says Finland Court

The perpetrator was instead given three years for sexual battery, baffling legal experts.

finland says sex with a ten year old isn't rape
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The perpetrator was instead given three years for sexual battery, baffling legal experts.

Finland’s Supreme Court has ruled that sex with a 10-year-old is not rape, instead allowing the perpetrator to serve only a few years for sexual battery rather than the much harsher sentence that prosecutors wanted, The Daily Star is reporting.

Back in 2016, Juusuf Muhamed Abbudin began making contact with the young victim at an abandoned apartment building in the city of Tampere. There, in an abandoned building, he had sexual intercourse with her. Further, after the assault, he sent her sexually-explicit messages.

He was later tried and convicted not for rape, but for aggravated sexual battery, which carries a much lighter sentence. The 23-year-old was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay the victim €3,000 ($3,589 USD) in compensation.

Prosecutors wanted a much harsher sentence, and a conviction for rape, as well as more compensation for the victim, and appealed.

Both The Pirkanmaa District Court and the Turku Appeal Court agreed with the basic facts of the case, according to Finnish media outlet YLE UUTISET. In handing down the original sentence, the first trial judge noted that during the trial, there was no evidence presented that the victim was treated violently, or that she acted out of fear, or that she was otherwise incapacitated, and thus meeting the legal standard for rape.

The case made its way to Finland’s Supreme Court, which let lower court rulings stand. That means that the assailant’s original sentence stands.

Tuula Tamminen, Professor of Child Psychiatry at the University of Tampere, is baffled by the court’s decision. She told a local newspaper that there is no way a child that age can understand what is happening to him or her, and so cannot give consent to a sexual act.

National Coalition Party MP Kari Tolvanen, meanwhile, is calling for changes to Finnish law in light of this case. He’s calling for an amendment to the Scandinavian nation’s criminal law code that would instill harsher punishment for sexual offenses against children.

“The amendment would introduce harsher sentences for serious sexual offences against children overall. In my view that is fully justified, for example in light of a child’s vulnerability, even if the act does not meet the threshold for rape.”

In the United States, no state has an age of consent (for sex) lower than 16, according to NPR News. There are, of course, exclusions for things such as marriage, or for cases where both the “victim” and “assailant” are themselves, teenagers. But in general, almost no court will give a pass to an adult who commits sex acts with a child under 16.