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How Is Rape Prosecuted in Other Countries?

Okabe & Haushalter Nov 18, 2017 Rape

Criminal law can sometimes get complicated in the United States. But when traveling abroad, it can get even more mind-boggling. Different countries have their own justice system on how to handle crimes. Rape is one of the most serious crimes anyone can commit in any country. But not every nation handles these cases the same. If you are an American and face accusations of sexual assault in a foreign country, do not expect the same treatment you would get in a U.S. court.

Who is At Fault?

In the United States, those accused of a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. But not every country uses this principle. In some places, rape is blamed on the attacker. However, there are other countries that place blame on the victim. Here is how some countries handle these brutal crimes.

United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates is a country mixed with a blend of western influences along with traditional Muslim beliefs. But when it comes to the prosecution of rape, victims are considered guilty of “illicit sex”, considered illegal regardless of consent. Here is a scenario, an American woman who is raped after her drink was spiked could be arrested by police in the UAE for just simply reporting the sexual assault. Under different circumstances, a man accused of rape in the UAE could face a punishment of hanging within 7 days of the crime.


Like the United Arab Emirates, rape victims in Afghanistan can be arrested for reporting the crime. In one extreme case, a woman spent 12 years in prison after she was raped by her cousin’s husband. Because she became pregnant, she was also charged with adultery.


Those who are convicted of rape in France could face a prison sentence of up to 10 years. However, if the rape victim dies, the sentenced is increased to 30 years. If the court determines the victim was tortured, the convicted rapist could spend life in prison.


The Netherlands has always been considered progressive when it comes to drug and sex crimes. But when it comes to rape, its criminal justice system does have some unusual laws. For example, simply French kissing a person without their consent is considered a form of rape. The punishment for rape in the Netherlands differs depending on the conditions and age of the parties involved. The majority of convicted rapists serve prison sentences of 4 to 15 years.

Have You Been Accused of Rape in a Foreign Country? The International Criminal Defense Attorneys at Okabe & Haushalter Can Help

Facing charges of rape is a very serious offense in the United States. But when it happens in another country, you could be facing even more harsh punishments. International criminal defense attorneys Ryan Okabe and Mark Haushalter bring high-end legal representation to the table. Over the years, they have utilized an aggressive and comprehensive approach to some of the most complex cases and high-profile cases. Whether you are an American charged with a crime in a foreign country or a foreign national accused of a crime in the United States, contact their Los Angeles law office today and schedule a consultation to discuss your case.