Taylor Swift’s US Court Win Would Have Been a Criminal Sentence in the UK

Taylor Swift’s US Court Win Would Have Been a Criminal Sentence in the UK

Following a groping incident four years ago, an eight-member jury has sided with Taylor Swift in a countersuit against radio DJ David Mueller. World popstar Taylor Swift accused the now fired radio presenter of groping her during a meet and greet at the Pepsi Center in 2013.

The jury, made of six women and two men, awarded the win to Swift, and the Denver based DJ is now forced to pay out a symbolic $1 in damages to the 27-year-old singer. Swift has now vowed to donate to sexual abuse victim organizations.

Amidst the case, the jury also ruled that Taylor’s mother, Andrea Swift, is not liable for tortious interference.

While this court case was heard in the civil arena in the US, Steve Roberts, Partner at law firm Richard Nelson LLP, claims that in the UK, this dispute would have been settled in a criminal court.

He said: “It is interesting to draw comparisons with how the Taylor Swift case was dealt with in the US and how it perhaps would have been dealt with in the UK. I take the view that it would almost certainly have been dealt with in the criminal rather than the civil arena had it taken place this side of the Atlantic.

“The Sexual Offences Act 2003 at s.3 makes it clear that an offence of sexual assault is committed where:

  • A person (A) intentionally touches another person (B)
  • the touching is sexual
  • (B) does not consent to the touching, and (A) does not reasonably believe that (B) consents.

“The touching of Miss Swift by Mr Mueller on her bottom under her skirt would undoubtedly be viewed as sexual assault by virtue of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. With present policy as it is in the light of Operation Yewtree, it is highly likely that the facts as set in this case would have resulted in a prosecution against Mr Mueller.

“An offence of sexual assault in this context would be viewed as relatively serious given that the touching was on a naked part of the body. It could conceivably even pass the custodial threshold although in all likelihood would have been dealt with by way of a community-based penalty.”