On Tuesday, a Dutch man was found guilty of removing his condom during sex without his partner’s consent in the first trial in the Netherlands for the act of “stealthing.”
However, the Dordrecht District Court acquitted him of a rape charge since it ruled that the sex was consensual.
The court stated that “by his actions, the suspect forced the victim to tolerate having unprotected sex with him. In doing so, he restricted her personal freedom and abused the trust she had placed in him.”
The man sent texts to the victim after the incident, including one that read “you will be fine.”
Similar cases have been tried in other countries.
In 2018, a Berlin court convicted a police officer of sexual assault for secretly removing his condom during intercourse, and ordered him to pay damages to the victim.
The victim in that case received nearly 3,100 euros in damages, and the suspended sentence was reduced to six months on appeal.
In the United States, California lawmakers made the state the first in the country to outlaw “stealthing” in 2021.
However, it was amended to the civil code so that a victim could sue the perpetrator for damages, including punitive damages.
In the Dordrecht case, the 28-year-old man from Rotterdam was given a three-month suspended prison term and ordered to pay his victim 1,000 euros in damages.
Judges cleared a 25-year-old man in a separate case, finding that he had not removed a condom at any time, but instead failed to put one on in the heat of the moment.
Although the Netherlands has no specific law against “stealthing,” these were the first rulings on the practice in the country.
According to public broadcaster NOS, similar rulings have occurred in other countries, including Germany, Switzerland, and New Zealand.
A 2017 study conducted by Yale University found that both men and women have been victims of stealthing.
The study also found that victims were fearful of contracting sexually transmitted infections or unwanted pregnancies, and that the experience was a “disempowering, demeaning violation of a sexual agreement.”