FACT CHECK: Did Finland’s Supreme Court Rule That Sex With Children Is ‘Permitted’?
A post shared on Instagram claims Finland’s Supreme Court ruled that sex with children is “permitted.”
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There is no evidence Finland’s Supreme Court established such a precedent. A spokesperson for the court denied the claim.
The Instagram post shows a screenshot of what appears to be a news article with a headline that reads, “Finnish Court Rules Sex With Children Is ‘Permitted.'” Text in the article goes on to claim that Finland’s Supreme Court has “ruled that sex with children as young as 10 is not ‘rape’ if you come from a culture where sexual relations between adults and kids is ‘normal.'”
“Just keep turning a blind eye…It’s what ‘THEY’ want!” the post caption reads. (RELATED: Have Finland And Sweden Applied For Nato Membership?)
There is no evidence that Finland’s Supreme Court has established such a precedent. There are no credible news reports suggesting such a case has been considered by the country’s top court. Those in the country who have sex with a child 15 or younger can be prosecuted for statutory rape, according to AgeOfConsent.net.
“The claim is absolutely not true,” said a spokesperson for the court in an email to Check Your Fact. “According to Finnish law sex with a child is a criminal offence. None of the judgements of the Supreme Court would permit it.”
A keyword search revealed the article visible in the post was first shared in 2018 by the website News Punch. The site, formerly known as YourNewsWire, changed its domain name in 2018 in an attempt to escape Facebook’s fact-checking program and boost revenue, Poynter reports.
The News Punch article refers to a real 2018 Supreme Court case in which a 23-year-old was charged with sexual assault against a 10-year-old, according to Finnish news outlet Yle News. The court denied an appeal by the prosecution to upgrade the charges to rape due to a lack of evidence to suggest the child was incapacitated or overcome by fear, the outlet reported. The ruling sparked a backlash that resulted in Finland later strengthening its laws around child sex crimes, according to the Independent.