Police fined for sexual harassment behavior – acquitted by court – VG

Two joint judges acquitted a police officer who during a sanitation course at the Police Academy was supposed to say “do you feel raped right now” to a student.

Published:

One day in February 2020, classes at the Stavern Police Academy held a sanitation course.

The instructor, a police officer in his 30s, will guide the students in examining patients and demonstrating how to look for bleeding.

This is done by the instructor moving his hand up and down the inside of a female student’s thigh inside the pants.

Prior to the course, students spend the day outdoors wearing warm clothes.

During a class demonstration, the instructor must first state “it’s humid here”. When he finished the examination of female students, he said “do you feel raped now?”.

When the female student answers no, the police officer inevitably follows up with: “Then I didn’t do my job well enough.”

– Dark humor

The verdict from the Vestfold District Court stated that the student was contacted by a course leader at the Police Academy after the incident, and that the student later stated that she wanted the case to die.

However the Police Academy reported the instructor, who was later fined NOK 12,000 by the Bureau of Investigation.

The man did not decide this, and the case ended in court.

There he was charged with sexual harassment or other lewd behavior.

In court, the police explained that he did not remember saying the statement in question, but he could not rule it out.

He explains that this is jargon he knows is used in defense. He also thinks that he can be smooth-mouthed and quite strict, and he has a dark humour.

Rough jargon rash

In the verdict against the man coming this week, he was acquitted by a decisive minority of the two joint judges.

However, the court as a whole agreed that the investigation itself was not sexually harassing, but it was the man’s statement that was the subject of controversy in court.

The judges jointly believed that the defendant’s behavior was “the result of dirty jargon and the defendant’s dark way of saying things”.

– The majority considered the defendant’s behavior and statements despicable and inappropriate, but found that his actions and statements fell within the scope of reckless and awkward behavior that must be accepted, the verdict reads.

They believe that “comments about awkwardness are more of an indication that the injured party is sweating. Victims came straight from field practice and thus heated up after this exercise ».

Professional judges, on the other hand, believed that the man should be punished, because the statements considered in connection with the investigation had a sexual character or were sexually charged.

– In minority opinion, in this case a person is way outside the current norm for what is acceptable behavior and statements of a sexual nature in normal teaching situations.

– What is sexual harassment?

The man’s defense attorney, Carl Henning Leknesund, said the case was very tough and stressful for his client.

– This is a show with dark humor results, strict instructors who have formulated himself in an awkward way, no sexual at all. It could be argued that it was a clumsy statement that should have elicited a backlash, the defense said, but he ruled that the case was not a criminal one.

The defense said he felt that the co-judges in the case were optimistic and they were following closely.

– This sentence is discretionary, and is based on legal standards: What is sexual harassment? This may vary from time to time and is subject to change. “I respect that professional judges see it differently, but I’m glad that the joint judges came to the decisions they made,” he said.

The Norwegian Police University College, led by communications manager Sandra Pernille Magnussen, said the following:

– We chose to forward the case to the Bureau after we became aware of the incident. The person concerned did not work as an instructor at the Police Academy after the incident. We have no further comment on the case or verdict.

The woman’s lawyer, Anniken Astrup, did not want to comment on the case. So far, the special unit has not had time to comment on the case.

Lance Heptinstall

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