Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Julian Assange and WikiLeaks

The Swedish Sex Scandal

Anna Ardin
Anna Ardin

In August, in between the release of the Afghanistan and Iraq War Logs, Assange had flown to Stockholm for a conference hosted by the Brotherhood Movement, an adjunct of Sweden's Social Democrat Party, where he would be a featured speaker. His contact leading up to the conference was a young feminist woman, now identified as Anna Ardin. She had allegedly offered her place for him to stay while she was out of town. When she returned a day early, the Daily Mail in the UK reported, it was agreed he would remain there. They went to dinner, and later, had sex. During sex, the condom reportedly broke.

That next day, he went to a seminar, where another young woman, identified as Sofia Wilén, who was reportedly a fan of his, was sitting in the audience. Wilén met Assange and his host Ardin, and exchanged numbers with Assange. Assange and Wilén then went to lunch with a large group of people where they flirted. That night, Assange attended a party thrown in his honor by Ardin back at her apartment.

Sofia Wilen
Sofia Wilén

A few days later, Wilén called him; he traveled to a city outside of Stockholm to meet her. According to reports, they had sex twice, first with a condom and again, the next morning without one. They went out to breakfast together.

But, once Assange was gone, Wilén, called his Stockholm host, and asked about his whereabouts, telling Ardin that they had slept together. In short order, the women were at a police station, filing a complaint against him—their ultimate goal purportedly to get him to submit to an STD test—and an arrest warrant was issued in November for charges of rape, illegal use of force, and sexual molestation, the latter of which is the only charge still standing. After a few weeks, the Stockholm Criminal Court issued an international arrest warrant in November, and Swedish authorities turned to Interpol which issued a Red Notice —a request "to assist the national police forces in identifying or locating those persons with a view to their arrest and extradition."

By this time, Assange, who maintains his innocence and says that all sex was consensual, was already gone. He had more leaks to attend to.


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