A Man in the Netherlands Was Convicted of Condom “Stealthing,” in One of the First Major Cases of Its Kind

Stealthing refers to removing a condom during sex without the consent or awareness of other partners.

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A man in the Netherlands was found guilty of coercion on March 14 for “stealthing,” or removing a condom during sex without the consent or awareness of other partners. It is reportedly the first conviction of its kind in the country.

The 28-year-old man was given a 3-month suspended prison sentence — meaning he will only serve jail time if he is sentenced for another crime — and was ordered to pay €1,000 ($1,073 USD) in damages to the victim.

According to a court statement, the man secretly removed the condom during sex, after his partner had requested protection. The court did not find the man guilty of rape but did find him guilty of coercion. “The suspect forced the victim to tolerate having unprotected sex with him,” the translated statement reads. “In doing so, he restricted her personal freedom and abused the trust she had placed in him.”

The case is part of a growing awareness of stealthing, a term first brought into mainstream discourse in a 2017 paper by then-law school student Alexandra Brodsky. There have been efforts in several countries and a few U.S. states to pass laws around the act.

Currently, the offense is not included in the criminal code in the Netherlands. In 2021, California, drawing inspiration from Brodsky’s paper, became the first state in the U.S. to classify stealthing as a civil offense and allow individuals who experience it to seek legal recourse by suing for punitive damages.

In 2021, NowThis spoke to Brodsky, now an attorney for Public Justice, upon the passage of California’s anti-stealthing bill. “When I wrote a paper in law school, I thought that maybe my mom and professor would read it,” she told us at the time. “I truly never dreamed that it would inspire legislation.”