The Danish TV channel TV Syd reports that a 17-year-old girl from Sønderborg on Wednesday night was assaulted and attempted raped by an immigrant.
The girl now risk being fined because she protected herself against the assailant with pepper spray when he tried to pull her pants off to rape her.
Use of pepper spray is illegal in Denmark, and the girl now risks being charged with violation of the Firearms Act.
- It is illegal to be in possession of, and using pepper spray, so she probably will be charged, says head of the Sønderborg police, Knud Kirsten.
The girl reported the assailant to the police on Thursday and the local newspaper Jydske Vestkysten writes that the perpetrator is still at large.
The police report states that a dark-skinned, English-speaking man pushed the girl to the ground in the street, then unbutton her pants and tried to pull her pants off.
- He dragged her by her arm and said in English that she should come with him, but she fought herself free. Then he pushed her over, and while he was lying on top of her, he tried to get her pants off. He actually succeeded getting her pants unbuttoned, but then she pulled out a pepper spray and sprayed him in his face, making him run away, says police officer Svend Erik Lassen to the newspaper.
The case is being investigated as attempted rape, but it is the charges against the girl that now receive enormous attention in Denmark.
Svend Erik Lassen rejects that the investigation is directed towards the many newly arrived asylum seekers in Sønderborg.
- No, it is not, he says.
He would not say whether the indictment can be waived because of extenuating circumstances, as the girl only defended herself.
- It's up to our legal department to take a stand on it, he says.
The newspaper writes that the police did not use discretion in this matter, and that they believe that the girl has violated the Firearms Act.
- It's a matter of illegal possession of a weapon, so it's the same as having a switchblade, says Knud Kirsten from the Sønderborg police.
Pepper Spray is used by police in Denmark and Norway, but in both countries it falls under the Firearms Act and is therefore illegal for private individuals both to posess and use.
In pepper spray it's the pepper extract from chilllipepper that makes it illegal.
Possession of pepper spray is considered a violation of the Firearms Act and can result in fines or up to three months in prison.
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