Just minutes after reports surfaced that secret-sharing website Wikileaks' founder Julian Assange was accused of rape and "molestation" he was un-accused of rape. Swedish police now say the rape accusations are "unfounded." (But not the molestation accusation.)
Police originally issued an arrest warrant for 39-year-old Assange, an Australian citizen, on suspicion of rape and sexual harassment ("molestation" is the literal Google translation). Assange was in Sweden last week, seeking help from Sweden's Pirate Party in hosting Wikileaks data.
Assange and Wikileaks took to Twitter, as is their style, to denounce the allegations. "We were warned to expect 'dirty tricks.' Now we have the first one." As if to prove his point, Swedish police withdrew the warrant today, saying the rape suspicions are "unfounded," according to the AP. However, the molestation/sexual harassment accusation still stands. (This charge won't lead to an arrest warrant.)
This is suspicious timing for such a hiccup. Wikileaks made a splash recently with its Afghanistan War Diaries leak, and is currently locked in a tense standoff with the Pentagon over 15,000 unreleased classified Afghanistan war documents. Conspiracy alert! Did the Pentagon send a Predator drone over to Sweden to accuse Assange of rape and molestation!? Or, you know, maybe it was some boozy hook-ups gone awry. Either way, thank God: this Wikileaks thing has been lacking a sex angle for way too long.
The Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet has an interview with one of Assange's two accusers, an unidentified 30-year-old woman. She tells Aftonbladet that the other alleged victim contacted her about an incident with Assange, and the two went to the police together last week.
The women and Assange met during his stay in Stockholm and have neither met him or each other before.
The woman in her thirties say that on her part, she was sexually assaulted or molested, but not rape.
The story begain this friday. Another woman contacted her and told of a similar but worse story. That woman is in her twenties.
The woman says that at first the sex was consensual, but turned non-consensual in both cases. She also refutes the idea that the Pentagon or any of Assange's detractors are behind the accusations:
The conspiracy theories that are flooding the net at the moment are discarded by the woman
"The accusations against Assange are of course not staged by neither the Pentagon or anyone else. The responsibility for what happened to me and the other girl are with a man with a disturbed view of women and problems accepting a no"
Fun fact: Aftonblade is the Swedish tabloid which recently tapped Assange to write a bimonthly column. Something tells us this deal is off.
Note from the translator: Julian Assange has been accused of 'sexuellt ofredande,' (molestation/harassment) while the more serious accusation of rape was dropped. What's 'ofredande?'
'Ofredande' would be harrassment, and could also be stalking, hitting on someone and not stopping when they tell them to fuck off, etc. 'sexuellt ofredande' could mean groping, shouting lewd things, so 'ofredande' is basically being a creep.
(Big thanks to commenter Jumpingpiglet for translating the article.)