Man who removed condom during sex in trend known as 'stealthing' no longer found guilty of rape

The practice can transform a consensual act into a non-consensual one

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A man who was convicted of deliberately removing his condom without his partner’s knowledge during sex, has had his rape conviction changed to defilement by a Swiss court. 

The practice, known as “stealthing”, can transform a consensual act into a non-consensual one.

In what was thought to be the first case of its kind in Switzerland, an appeal court in Lausanne upheld the 12-month suspended sentence handed to the man, who has not been named, at an earlier hearing. 

But they changed his original rape conviction, to one of defilement. The hearing was seen as test case for how the legal system can handle similar charges. 

 

The man had met his victim on the Tinder dating platform and the pair agreed to have sex at the woman’s home, according to Swiss broadcaster SRF. 

During intercourse, the woman refused the man’s request to remove his condom, but she later discovered that he had done it anyway.  

The woman filed charges against the man, fearing she might become pregnant or contract a disease, the broadcaster reported. But the defendant claimed he had not removed the condom on purpose and refused to submit himself to an HIV test. 

Ath the first trial, the woman’s attorney Baptiste Viredaz submitted a study by the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law on the legal implications of the practice, which transforms consensual sex into a non-consensual act. 

Apart from unwanted pregnancies and STIs, “survivors experienced nonconsensual condom removal as a clear violation of their bodily autonomy and the trust they had mistakenly placed in their sexual partner,” study author Alexandra Brodsky, a legal fellow at the National Women's Law Centre, said. 

The study found men named a range of motivations for “stealthing” including increased physical pleasures, a thrill for degradation and domination. 

“An online discussions suggest offenders and their defenders justify their actions as a natural male instinct and natural male right," the study found.

The UK signed the Istanbul Convention, which aims to prevent violence against women - including all non-consensual acts of a sexual nature. Earlier this year, Parliament passed a bill requiring the UK to ratify the convention. 

It is believed stealthing would fall under that.

Comments