Man convicted of removing condom during sex without consent in the Netherlands’ first ‘stealth’ trial

A Dutch man was sentenced on Tuesday for removing his condom during sex without his partner’s consent.

However, the Court of Dordrecht acquitted the man of a rape charge because it ruled that the sex was consensual.

“Through his actions, the suspect forced the victim to tolerate unprotected sex with him. In doing so, he limited her personal freedom and abused the trust she had placed in him,” the court said.

The suspect then sent the victim text messages, including one that said “it will be fine,” AFP reported, citing the court.

Other courts have also considered the phenomenon in recent years. In a case in Germany, a court in Berlin in 2018 convicted a police officer of assault and gave him an eight-month suspended sentence for secretly removing his condom during sexual intercourse, and ordered him to pay damages of nearly 3,100 euros to the victim. The suspended sentence was initially reduced to six months.

2021, California lawmakers created the state the first in the US to ban “stealthing”, making it illegal to remove a condom without obtaining verbal consent. But it didn’t change the penal code. Instead, the civil code would be changed to allow a victim to sue the perpetrator for damages, including punitive damages.

In the Dordrecht case, a 28-year-old man from Rotterdam was given a three-month suspended prison sentence – meaning he does not have to serve the sentence unless he commits another crime – and ordered to pay his victim 1,000 euros ($1,073) in damages.

In another case, judges acquitted a 25-year-old man after finding that at no point did he remove a condom, but instead failed to put one on in the heat of the moment.

The Netherlands has no specific law against “stealthing,” but these were the first rulings on the practice, public broadcaster NOS said, adding that similar rulings had been made in countries such as Germany, Switzerland and New Zealand.

A 2017 Yale study found that both men and women have been victims of stealth. The researchers found that not only did the victims fear contracting a sexually transmitted disease or an unwanted pregnancy, but they also described the experience as a “disempowering, humiliating violation of a sexual contract.”

AFP contributed to this report.

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