The maximum penalty for child rape under the current law is 12 years, but the average sentence being handed down by judges is only three years.
According to Danmarks Statistik, a review of 79 judgements in cases of child rape from 2007 to 2013 show that very few paedophiles actually receive the maximum penalty.
Law change had little effect
Although the laws were changed in 2013 to define sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 12 as rape, the penalties being handed down are not reflecting the change.
“At Red Barnet, we find it very concerning that the clarification that sexual intercourse with a child under 12 is now rape is not being reflected in sentencing,” Red Barnet consulting psychologist Kuno Sørensen told MetroXpress.
Mikael Sjöberg, the head of Danske Dommerforening, the judges' association, said that judges are following the letter of the law.
“We always take law-changes into consideration, and we believe that we are living up to what legislators intended,” he said. “If prosecutors are dissatisfied with decisions, they can always appeal.”