Women and Justice: Court: Western High Court

Domestic Case Law

U1993.941/2V Western High Court (1993)

Sexual violence and rape

The defendant was found guilty of rape and sentenced to four months imprisonment. The defendant had intercourse with a physically and mentally disabled woman who was the sister of the woman with whom he cohabited. The victim had limited power in her arms and legs and difficulties moving and walking. She was also mentally handicapped. At trial, the woman testified that she tried to push the defendant away from her although she did not scream. The Court upheld the lower court’s acquittal of the defendant of aggravated rape because the intercourse did not occur under threat of violence. However, the Court found the defendant guilty of having forced intercourse with a disabled woman (Penal Code § 218) because her condition rendered her unable to resist the defendant and the defendant was aware of this because of his prior acquaintance with her. The Court awarded the woman 15,000 DKK as compensation.

U1987.960V Western High Court (1987)

Domestic and intimate partner violence

The defendant was found not guilty of brutal violence by the Municipal Court, but was sentenced to sixty days of conditional imprisonment. The defendant was accused of abuse when he knocked his wife over, tore at her clothes, hit her, pulled her hair, bit her, and tried to take photographs of her naked. The Municipal Court awarded her compensation of 4,000 DKK. Subsequently, the defendant appealed to the Western High Court for reduced liability for compensation. A majority of the court found that the wife was not entitled to compensation for two reasons: 1) the defendant was only sentenced to conditional imprisonment; 2) the defendant was found not guilty of brutal violence by the Municipal Court. A dissenting judge advocated awarding compensation because of the circumstances of the abuse and also because the defendant was found guilty of committing ordinary violence. Ultimately, the High Court denied compensation to the wife.

U1988.79V Western High Court (1988)

Statutory rape or defilement

The defendant was acquitted of having sexual intercourse with a woman placed in his care, contrary to Penal Code § 219 which provides that any person who is employed in or in charge of any children’s or young person’s home or institution for the mentally deficient, among others, and who has sexual intercourse with any person who is an inmate of the same institution, shall be liable to imprisonment for any term not exceeding four years. The defendant, a thirty-year old man, was approved by the municipality to have children and adolescents in his care at his home. The victim was a twenty-four year old woman who was placed in his care for her drug abuse. The Municipal Court and the High Court found that Penal Code § 219 was intended to protect individuals under state care from disregard of special duties or abuses of power by employees and superintendents of the mentioned institutions. According to the travaux preparatories, Penal Code § 219 applies to both public and private foster homes as well as institutions and therefore, would apply in this case. However, the court found that the protection from sexual relations in relation to arrangements for private care is provided for by different provisions of the Penal Code, not the travaux preparatories of § 219. Consistent with this finding, the High Court found the defendant not guilty because the provision in § 219 only applies with certainty to those under institutional care, not private care.

U1960.1075V Western High Court (1960)

Domestic and intimate partner violence, Sexual violence and rape

While in the process of obtaining a legal separation from his wife, the defendant broke into her bedroom and put her in a stranglehold until she surrendered to intercourse. He was convicted of rape, thus recognizing marital rape within the definition of rape in the Penal Code.

U1984.253V Western High Court (1983)

Domestic and intimate partner violence, Sexual violence and rape

Over a period of fifteen months, the defendant kicked and beat his wife, forcibly sodomized her and introduced foreign objects into her rectum, which eventually contributed to her death. Rejecting defendant's statement that his wife had consented to being beaten during intercourse, the Municipal Court found him guilty of assault and maltreatment and sentenced him to six years imprisonment. The prosecution sought to increase the defendant's sentence. The Court increased the defendant's sentence because of the aggravating circumstance of the long duration of grossly degrading sexual assault suffered by the victim.