An investigator speculated that a drunken ice hockey player couldn't unintentionally groped a woman in a night club
A Swedish police investigator has dropped a case involving an ice hockey player accused of groping and molesting a woman at a night club, claiming the man could not be held accountable because of the woman’s “gigantic breasts”. The decision, reported to the Swedish newspaper Expressen, has left the country shocked, and the player has been suspended by the Björklöven hockey club.
The alleged incident took place on Saturday night, when the woman accused the player of sexual molestation at the night club in Östersund, northern Sweden. Investigator Mikael Lundberg, after speaking to the woman and witnesses, said there was no proof of their assertions, offering a now much-ridiculed reasons for why the player had not intentionally groped the woman.
“With regard to the sexual molestation, [the two women] were standing at a bar table and then he comes along drunk and drapes his arms around both of them from behind, and then he happens to touch one of their breasts. And it should be noted that they had gigantic breasts,” the police officer said. “It wasn’t hard to brush up against them. If you’re drunk and drape yourself over someone, well... you can understand how it might have happened.”
The investigator’s comments drew immediate criticism across Sweden, with The Local reporting that former prosecutor Sven-Erik Ahem was “absolutely astonished” by the decision.
“I’m amazed that this can still happen in 2016. It’s completely illegitimate,” he said. “An investigator has to be objective and weigh the plaintiffs’ testimony against the defendant’s. There shouldn’t be any room for speculation. This is absurd and incredibly offensive.”
Speaking to the press, the police chief of the Jämtland region, Stephen Jerand, described the choice of words as “unfortunate”, saying he hoped it hadn’t been a factor in not pursuing the case.
“The decision [to drop the case] relates to the perpetrator’s subjective intent. The fact that he was very drunk and couldn’t control his own body... that can happen. But breast size shouldn’t influence a decision regarding intent.”
The managing director of the ice hockey club said that the player will still be suspended, despite police dropping his case. “To be so drunk that you don’t know what you’re doing is to go way over the line of what’s acceptable,” said Jaokim Gustafsson.
“If we’re going to be a club for everybody we need to keep working to counteract macho culture and become more welcoming.”