Swiss Court Upholds Suspended Sentence For Man Convicted Of Stealthing

WARNING: This article discusses sexual assault.

In a first for Switzerland – and perhaps worldwide – a Swiss court has upheld a 12-month suspended sentence for a man convicted of ‘stealthing‘, a.k.a. the practise of removing a condom without the partner’s consent.

Swiss broadcaster SRF reported that the man and woman met on Tinder, and after a couple dates, agreed to have protected sex. Mid-way through, however, the man decided he wanted unprotected sex, and when the woman refused, he removed the condom in secret.

Prosecutor Laurence Brenlla argued that his act was rape, or at the very least desecration, because the woman was “surprised, deceived and incapable of resistance.”

During the trial, he presented the court with a paper recently published in the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law by Alexandra Brodsky, which kickstarted the global discussion of stealthing and described the act as “rape-adjacent” and one rooted in “misogyny and investment in male sexual supremacy.”

“While one can imagine a range of motivations for “stealthers”—increased physical pleasure, a thrill from degradation—online discussions suggest offenders and their defenders justify their actions as a natural male instinct—and natural male right,” the paper said.

Currently, there is no legal precedent for stealthing in Australia, as nobody has yet taken a case to court. A recent Triple J Hack investigation found that, despite police agreeing that the act “is definitely dangerous”, there’s nothing in the Crimes Act related to it.

Photo: China Photos / Getty.