Is Julian Assange a rapist?

Opinions on his Wikileaks-related activities are being thoroughly discussed in other threads. Also, for this thread, I’m hoping that the veracity of the accusers—whether they are government shills or sooper-seecret spies—should be ignored. Take their allegations as full face value:

This quote is from the New York Daily News. I’ve read basically the same elsewhere, but that was just cited in another thread (I took the path of least resistance in quoting). Because the nature of the allegations is crucial, if there are better sources of information, please share.

So virtually every story that covers the recent (and Pentagon) leaks makes mention that he is wanted for rape in Sweden.

Was it rape?

I can’t help but feel this is mismatched as to word-to-deed. I know a rape victim personally. This is not what happened to her. I do a lot of work with the Gender Unit of the United Nations. This is not what happens to millions of women every year. I accept the concept of date rape in its broadest terms. Yet so far there isn’t the allegation that consent was withdrawn. If it was, and I haven’t read about it yet, the timing and nature do come into play. Again, I agree with a broad definition of date rape, but it is not unlimited in scope. This does not negate culpability or malfeasance on his part, but it may not rise to the level commonly associated with ‘rape’.

Is Julian Assange a rapist?

I read somewhere and now cannot find the link that the woman who claimed rape is a former employee of the Swedish intelligence agency and has supposedly close ties to the CIA. Can anybody confirm this?

Wouldn’t that set a record for bumbling?

I make no claim to understanding the laws of Sweden.

But no, by any law in the United States, the mere refusal to wear a condom, as long as consent was not withdrawn, does not constitute rape.

There are statutes that prohibit the intentional exposure to STIs (as a rule, HIV) and someone could be prosecuted under one of those if he knew his HIV status was positive and did not disclose this to a sexual partner. Even then, the crime is not rape.

I don’t know what Swedish law says about it, but no, that’s not what I would consider rape. If they agreed to have sex with him after he said he didn’t want to wear a condom, it’s not even close.

Side note: if anyone has the ability to debate the black letter law–i.e., whether or not this fits under a particular stature–that’s great. I was thinking a more generic, model rules/conventional wisdom concept of rape. He’s being called a rapist in almost every account there is–is that a just or accurate descriptor?

Based on the little bit we’ve heard, no, he’s not a rapist. If it’s true, he might be a selfish jerk.

Consensual sex is by definition not rape.

If condom usage was a big deal to these women, then they should have told him “Not unless you use a condom”. If, after them telling him that, he went on to have sex with them against their will rather than putting on a condom, then it’s rape. If he said “But I don’t want to wear a condom” and they said “Well, OK, but just this once”, then it was just poor judgment on their part.

Of course, that’s if any of this is true in the first place. I’d put at least even money on it being a baseless smear-job.

It does seem a rather odd charge. I can’t imagine that, if it is as it’s being portrayed here, Sweden really thinks they are going to get much traction in having other countries detain the man…or how they think they would be able to try and convict him of rape in their own system.


I find the whole thing confusing. Like many, I have an underlying suspicion that it’s a setup, but if it’s a setup than why not make it an outright claim of forcible rape?

If it’s not a setup, than why issue an international warrant for what sounds like morning after regret?

Confusing. :confused:

To answer the OP: What I’ve read does not sound like rape.

Contaminating someone with AIDS either voluntarily or involuntarily, in the case of someone not knowing he/she has AIDS but still going on on having sex unprotected, can only be qualified as intentional or unintentional poisoning.

There’s not one inch square of room for rape charges.
And, no, “withdrawing consent” after having sex can not be qualified as rape. This reminds me of the story of that Palestinian who got charged with rape in Israel after having consensual sex with an Israeli woman, and the woman filing for a rape suit when she discovered the guy wasnt Jewish but Palestinian.

OT, but that situation turned out to be much more complex than how news accounts presented it at the time. More complicated in that that the woman claimed he simply raped her, instead of anything having to do with racial identity.

I suspect the Swedish gov’t wanted to go after Assange but didn’t want to commit straight up perjury, so they found someone from Assange’s past with a story that they were able to stretch into something vaguely criminal sounding and then get an arrest warrant.

IIRC, the arrest warrant kept Assange from getting permission to live in Switzarland (which apparently has strong whistleblower protections) so the point wasn’t necessarily to get a conviction, but just to restrict his movements and make his life difficult (and make him a less sympathetic figure).

Those facts, as given, do not suggest rape in any way that I would understand it (and I have a broad definition). The critical factor - consent - is stipulated as being present by the accusers themselves, so rape seems completely unstainable.
It’s also very difficult to ignore the other circumstances around Assange, and how convenient the timing is. I suspect that the charge of “rape” is being made solely to get the word into headlines with knowledge that most people won’t bother to read the details. It serves to discredit and villify regardless of any substance.

ETA maybe, if I try really hard, I can hypothesize a scenario where he told them he was wearing a condom, then took it off without telling them. Maybe that would that represent some kind of non-consensual circumstances. Even that is hard to call “rape,” though.

It’s an odd case, to say the least, and I’d hate for it to reinforce some people’s notions of women ‘crying rape.’ As several Dopers pointed out, valid consent negates the existence of rape. WAG, perhaps something got lost in translation and the issue was that he secretly removed the condom during sex, which isn’t exactly unheard of and could support a rape claim. Beyond that… I’ve got nothing.

It also seems odd that two different women are making the same basic claim. Perhaps there is something getting lost in translation in all of this…or some sort of pattern to what he’s doing that isn’t being expressed. ISTM that if this were all a put up, it would make more sense to have the women claim actual rape without the qualifiers…it would be their word against his, after all, and no room to wiggle out of it by him, even if the allegations were completely false.

Something just doesn’t add up in all of this.


Also according to Assange’s lawyer, he hasn’t actually been charged with anything in Sweden, they’ve just opened an investigation. Can someone really be extradited just for questioning in an investigation?

It really depends on the jurisdiction. In California it is rape under the law if you don’t cease at any time during the act upon the request of the other. These charges stink of Assange being honey-trapped. I say innocent until proven guilty.

Regarding Assange, does anyone else get a vibe of “will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” I wonder if “resisting arrest” can be as fatal a condition in Sweden as it sometimes is in other jurisdictions.