Update: royal yacht seamen guilty of rape

Pair sentenced to 18 months for 2011 incident in Greenlandic capital

Two Danish men have been sentenced to 18 months in prison by a Greenlandic court for the rape of a woman in Nuuk last July.

The woman will also receive 70,000 kroner in compensation for the incident, which took place while the men, both former Navy sailors serving aboard the royal yacht Danebrog, were in the Greelandic capital on connection with the queen’s visit.

— Original story —

Published: 22 April 2012: 08:36am

A court in Nuuk is expected to hand down its decision on Monday in a case involving two Navy seamen charged with raping a Greenlandic woman last year.

The two men are on trial for the alleged rape of a 30-year-old divorced mother during shore leave from the royal yacht ‘Dannebrog’ when it called on the Greenlandic capital last July.


During the hearing, the two defendants denied raping the woman but admitted to having consensual sex with her. Their claim was supported by a 23-year-old witness, who was also serving aboard the ‘Dannebrog’ at the time. Via a video link from Denmark, the man testified that the three went to a bar in the city on their night off.


“There, the others were dancing and at one point this Greenlandic woman began to crawl around the floor and started licking the crotch of one of the defendants. He didn’t like it and stopped her. She seemed to take the hint and stopped her advances, but they started dancing again,” the defendant told the court, according to Greenlandic newspaper Sermitsiaq.


The man said he did not drink that evening, and that after the bar closed he returned to the ship and went for a jog.


“While I was running on the second hill from the harbour, I saw the accused with the woman. They seemed to be enjoying themselves. It looked natural and one of the accused was holding hands with the woman. There was no sign that the woman was forced by men to accompany them.”


After leaving the bar, the two defendants and the woman sought to check into a hotel. When they were told there were no vacancies, they went behind a nearby building where they had intercourse. According to the woman, the men forced her behind the building.


Upon returning to the ship, the men reportedly boasted about having sex with the woman.


Aviaja Helms, the men’s lawyer, called the woman’s allegation of rape “untrustworthy”.


“The woman's friend has testified in the court that the woman decided to have sex with them and that she helped the men try to get a condom. She had flirted, kissed and held hands with men and had tried to obtain a condom with them, and it had been clear that they would have intercourse with each other.”


If convicted, the men face 18 months in prison and will be required to pay 70,000 kroner in compensation. The prosecution is also seeking 1,000 kroner in compensation for damage to the woman’s clothing.

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