For the first time in Sweden, and probably in the world, a court found a man guilty of rape through the Internet . The defendant had forced a group of girls from Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom to perform sexual acts in front of a webcam while watching.
In the first place, what happened is possible because Swedish laws do not require penetration to call it “rape”. Apparently, the defendant had dedicated himself to threatening the children and their families if they did not do what he said.
Prosecutors have explained that Bjorn Samstrom, a 41-year-old Swede, “threatened to post photos of the 26 girls and a boy on pornography websites or even kill their relatives unless they performed sexual acts while he watched .”
Samstrom attacked his victims, all under the age of 15, between 2015 and the beginning of 2017. He also recorded the act, adding a child pornography possession charge to his sentencing of 10 years in prison and $131,590 total in damages to the victims.
The curious thing is that Samstrom never met them in person or was in the same room with them, but as we said, in Sweden, it doesn’t require a sexual relationship with penetration to be considered “rape”.
According to the professor of law at the University of Glasgow, James Chalmers, explained to Motherboard:
Most rape laws require that the defendant sexually penetrate the victim, so in almost any other country it would be impossible to prosecute what happened here as rape. Definitely set a precedent in Sweden, although it was already clear that, in principle, could be given a conviction for rape in a case like this.
This is possibly the first conviction of this kind in the world. Such an act is not considered as rape in other countries, but certainly sets a precedent and raises the debate on the possibility of changing the definition of rape in legislation.