A 17-year-old Norwegian girl who charged the former deputy leader of the Liberal Party with raping her at a party meeting earlier this year is appealing to the state prosecutor to have her case re-opened. She was”crushed,” according to her attorney, upon learning that police were dropping their investigation for lack of evidence.
Helge Solum Larsen, who resigned all his political posts when the charges were filed in February, had seemingly been relieved of the criminal case looming against him. That changed on Friday, when Berit Johannessen, lawyer for the teenager, said her client was filing a formal appeal against the charges being dropped.
“My client wants justice in this case,” Johannessen told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “For herself and for the rest of her life, she must be assured that she did all she can to get this man punished.”
Larsen, who is married with children, has admitted to having sex with the girl during the party’s annual meeting at the Ryfylke Fjordhotel last winter but claims it was consensual. Not so, claims the girl, saying he raped her in a hotel room.
The case stunned party leaders and Larsen has been on sick leave ever since. Party leader Trine Skei Grande told NRK earlier this week that even though police had opted to drop the case, Larsen would not be welcome back in the party because he had lost his colleagues’ confidence.
Larsen’s defense attorney, Inger Marie Sunde, said her client was disappointed upon hearing of the appeal and thinks both parties would be better off putting the case behind them.