Norwegian news outlets reported on 13 June about the beginning of the trial against an Afghan refugee. The man, who is in his twenties, is accused of attempting to rape a woman in the arrival hall of Oslo’s Gardermoen Airport on 11 March of last year. The Afghan was arrested on the day of the attempted rape, but released the next day after being interrogated. He stands accused of:

[having tried to] obtain sexual favours by way of violence or threatening behaviour.

The maximum penalty is a 10-year prison sentence.

According to the police, the accused assaulted the woman without any provocation and that the attempted rape took place in the toilets of the main arrivals hall of the airport, where she was waiting for her boyfriend. Police are confident they have a strong case, as there were witnesses and according to police attorney Sonika Sharma:

as it happened in a public place, we have secure surveillance footages of the incident.

The indictment further says, that the unnamed woman “tried to escape, resisted and shouted for help” before finally managing to tear herself away from the accused. Sharma:

The episode was over in no time but is still a very serious incident.

The counsel for the victim, Aase Johnsen Drabløs, says the experience has impacted her client, but that she is now doing well, in view of the circumstances.

It was a very scary and horrible experience for her, especially since she did not understand the reasons that lead to the abuse. She looks forward to the case going to court, so she can put the ordeal behind her after the court is done with him.

The case is scheduled to appear before the Upper Romerike District Court in October, which means it will have taken 19 months to take the rape to court. The counsel for the defendants, Per Ove Marthinsen, declined to comment.