A woman in #Sweden was gang raped in January and the entire incident was streamed online on #Facebook Live. Two men have been charged with rape, while a third is charged with “grave defamation” for streaming the video footage live on Facebook.
All three of the suspects are now denying the charges. This led to Swedish prosecutors requesting the Facebook Live footage to strengthen their case.
They reportedly made a formal request to the U.S. Justice Department for assistance in obtaining two sets of video footage. As reported by The Street, on March 15, Facebook complied and Prosecutor Magnus Berggren confirmed to Reuters on March 31 that they had received the videos.
Woman in Sweden gang raped on Facebook Live
According to a report by The Local, a woman called the Swedish police when she realized what was happening on a video streamed in a closed group on Facebook. The report quoted Josefine Lundgren, 21, as saying one of two men tore off a woman’s clothing and lay down on top of her. She said the footage ended with one of the men telling the victim that she had been raped – he then reportedly laughed. She said one of the members of the Facebook group then commented on the post, saying, “Three against one, haha.”
This was not the end of the story, however, as reportedly the same men made a second Facebook Live broadcast where they forced the 31-year-old victim to state she had not been raped. Reportedly that video was still streaming when Swedish police arrived at the apartment, turned off the camera and arrested the men.
Reportedly the victim was close to unconscious at the time. Linda Johansson, another member of the Facebook group, saw the second livestream video and said the suspect was putting words in the mouth of the victim and that he was extremely threatening and was laughing throughout the footage.
Facebook Live Footage Given to Swedish Prosecutors for Gang Rape Case https://t.co/vKutQVwxgL— Fortune (@FortuneMagazine) April 1, 2017
Ethical issues of streaming video live
As reported by Fortune, this case points to the complex policy and ethical issues faced by streaming services. In the case of Facebook Live, the app allows anyone to broadcast live to Facebook with none of the regulatory restrictions faced by traditional broadcasters.
This is the second recently reported case of this nature, as Blasting News reported in March on the case of a Chicago teen who was missing for three days but was found after footage surfaced of her being gang raped by several boys live on Facebook. #gang rape