Photo: Wikimedia Commons
There’s been plenty of confusion around the sex crimes that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been accused of.Part of it is the fact that it’s actually two women who pressed charges relating to two different incidents. Part of it are the circumstances around the events and the fact that he’s being tried under Swedish law.
Plenty of outlets are reporting that Assange’s only alleged “crime” was sex without a condom, or sex with a condom that broke.
Here’s a rundown of the facts from The Guardian, which is one of the original publishers of the WikiLeaks State Department cables and which follows WikiLeaks closely:
- There are two women who are alleging crimes by Assange, identified as Ms A and Ms W;
- Ms A is “only” alleging molestation, but Ms W is alleging rape;
- Speaking to the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, Ms A said: “In both cases, what started out as voluntary sex subsequently developed into assault”, and described Assange as “a man who has a twisted attitude to women and a problem with taking ‘no’ for an answer.”
- Assange vehemently denies all charges.
Meanwhile, blogger Jessica Valenti says the charges are “that Assange held one woman down using his body weight to sexually assault her and that he raped another woman while she was sleeping”, and adds that “there’s nothing in Swedish law about “sex by surprise” or broken condoms”, linking to this extract of Swedish law, in English.
So there you have it, folks. Maybe there’s a story about a condom that broke or did not break, but in any case the Swedish police is seeking Assange’s arrest for very serious crimes, sexual molestation and possibly rape.
(We would add that we don’t see a difference between “sex by surprise” and rape and that if the telling of the incident — that Assange’s condom broke and he refused to withdraw even though his partner requested it — is correct, that is also rape, by definition, since she stopped consenting to the sex.)
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