Sweden Drops Rape Investigation Against Julian Assange, But The United States Wants To Charge Him With 17 Counts of Violating the Espionage Act

Mandatory Credit: Photo by AP/Shutterstock (9491028c)
Julian Assange greets supporters outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, . Sweden's top prosecutor says she is dropping an investigation into a rape claim against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after almost seven years. Assange took refuge in Ecuador's embassy in London in 2012 to escape extradition to Sweden to answer questions about sex-crime allegations from two women
Britain Assange, London, United Kingdom - 19 May 2017

AP/Shutterstock

Mandatory Credit: Photo by AP/Shutterstock (9491028c) Julian Assange greets supporters outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, . Sweden's top prosecutor says she is dropping an investigation into a rape claim against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after almost seven years. Assange took refuge in Ecuador's embassy in London in 2012 to escape extradition to Sweden to answer questions about sex-crime allegations from two women Britain Assange, London, United Kingdom - 19 May 2017

Kassidy Haggard, National and World News

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Julian Assange is a 48-year-old activist, publisher, and editor from Australia. WikiLeaks, an organization that publishes news leaks through anonymous sources, was founded by him in 2006.  Four years later, the company gained a lot of attention from the public due to the information it leaked.

That year, 2010, was the same year that the rape allegations began. Two women told similar stories about different encounters they had with Assange that eventually turned violent–though at first it was stated that the encounters were consensual–and where they were sexually assaulted by Assange. 

In 2012, Assange went to the United Kingdom while he was on bail, which he was said to have done in fear of getting arrested again. Assange stayed there for two years, where he tried to avoid extradition (where a person is handed over to another country when they are either accused of a crime or convicted of one) back to Sweden. In Sweden, there were four charges–rape, unlawful coercion, as well as a double count of sexual molestation–waiting for him. 

Because there was no hard evidence that these rapes or molestation had occurred, investigators in Sweden stopped the investigation in 2017, stating “the evidence has weakened considerably due to the long period of time that has elapsed since the events in question.” More than that, it was extremely hard to convict Assange of a crime when he was in the British embassy because he was protected in a way. 

However, the investigation was reopened sometime in May of this year, where despite conducting several interviews over the months leading up to now, there is still not enough evidence to keep the investigation up and running. 

Despite this, many people believe there is no reason to keep the investigation open. Assange was sentenced to 50 weeks in jail due to him breaching his bail conditions, and he will remain there until the hearing scheduled for next year takes place, where Assange is hoping there will be no extradition to the United States. There, he would face 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act. Were Assange convicted, he would spend up to 5 years in a jail cell in the United States. 

However, his possible extradition to the United States does not involve rape charges. Instead, the United States has accused the WikiLeaks founder of publishing documents that were meant to remain secret. Still, Assange continues to deny any and all allegations that are made against him. 

It is unclear what will happen to  Assange, but whatever does, the allegations are going to follow him around for the rest of his life, even if he doesn’t spend it in jail.