So what exactly went down between Julian Assange and the two women bringing sexual-assault allegations against him? Assange has not been formally charged with a crime, and his lawyer Mark Stephens attributed the allegations to a large-scale conspiracy against him, using the unfortunate expression: “The honeytrap has been sprung,” to describe the womens’ claims. But police reports obtained by the Guardian present the encounters from the perspective of the two women:
Her account to police, which Assange disputes, stated that he began stroking her leg as they drank tea, before he pulled off her clothes and snapped a necklace that she was wearing. According to her statement she “tried to put on some articles of clothing as it was going too quickly and uncomfortably but Assange ripped them off again”. Miss A told police that she didn’t want to go any further “but that it was too late to stop Assange as she had gone along with it so far”, and so she allowed him to undress her.
According to the statement, Miss A had tried a number of times to reach for a condom but Assange had stopped her by holding her arms and pinning her legs. The statement records Miss A describing how Assange then released her arms and agreed to use a condom, but she told the police that at some stage Assange had “done something” with the condom that resulted in it becoming ripped, and ejaculated without withdrawing.
Within the same week, a second woman told police she had awoken to find Assange having sex with her, and when she asked whether he was wearing a condom he said no. The police report also shows that the women did not decide to go to the police until they discovered, after talking to one another, that they had had similar sexual experiences with Assange.
Assange has declined to publicly address the women’s accounts directly. In his police interview, he said the women’s accounts included “incredible lies.” On Friday, he claimed again that the case presented in the London courts was “a smear attempt.” Claes Borgstrom, the lawyer for the two Swedish women said it was common under Sweden’s rape laws for men who force sex on women without a condom to face prosecution, and by presenting the case as a vendetta, Assange misrepresented the justice system and made “victims” of the two women.
Bjorn Hurtig, Assange’s Swedish lawyer, said he would lodge a formal complaint to the authorities and ask them to investigate how the police report leaked to the Guardian: “I do not know who has given these documents to the media, but the purpose can only be one thing — trying to make Julian look bad.” Some journalists pointed out the hypocrisy in bemoaning the Swedish police leaks, when Assange has devoted his life to leaking information. A spokesman for the Guardian said: “Julian is not a confidential source. The argument that the papers involved with the WikiLeaks cables should not report criticism of him is one all journalists would find ridiculous.” Meanwhile, Assange is currently under house arrest while British courts decide whether they’ll send him to Sweden to face the charges.
[This post has been updated for clarity and to include additional information.]
10 days in Sweden: the full allegations against Julian Assange [Guardian UK]
Swedish Police Report Details Case Against Assange [NYT]
Lawyers cry foul over leak of Julian Assange sex-case papers [Australian]