Rapists with convincing stories can escape conviction

In Estonia, if a rapist turns out to be more convincing than a victim, and there's no other proof, the court proceeding is easily terminated without any conviction.

Marian Männi
Marian Männi Eesti Ekspress, Estonia
Source: Eesti Ekspress
Rapists with convincing stories can escape conviction - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

When rape victims turn to the police, their first thought probably isn't about how they should tell their story.

Unfortunately, it should be, because in Estonia, for a rape to be registered as a crime, there needs to be hard evidence and a convincing story.

One month ago, Newsmavens wrote that Sweden became the tenth Western European country to classify sex without consent as rape.

In Estonia, for a rape to be registered, it's not enough to simply say that one didn't consent to sexual contact.

In cases where the prosecutors are not able to convince the judges that the victim's story is more reliable than the offenders, it doesn't mean that the rape hasn't happened, and the police recognize that. But it does mean that the crime cannot be proven, thus seriously hindering or fully preventing prosecution.

Details from the story:

  • Rape cases in Estonia were recently brought to light by MP Jaak Madison. He raised a concern that punishments for rape are not harsh enough.
  • The Ministry of Justice, to answer his worry, published data about rape cases in the court. This data from the past two years shows that only a fifth of the cases ended with the offender being convicted.
  • Out of 745 cases, only 220 ended up in the court.
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