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Sex offender assigned new church position

Published: 25 May 2011 11:02 GMT+02:00
Updated: 25 May 2011 11:02 GMT+02:00

A 23-year-old man who had relationships with several confirmation candidates and has been convicted of a sex offence has been assigned a new job within the Church of Sweden.

The man has been given a new job at Stafsinge parish in western Sweden despite the fact that church superiors knew of his conviction, according to a report in the local Hallands Nyheter (HN) daily.

The man was employed in a parish in central Sweden in a role with responsibility for young confirmation candidates. During the course of their education the man began a relationship with at least two girls, aged 14 and 15-years-old, the newspaper reports.

The man's behaviour, which included encouraging the girls to pose naked, was ultimately exposed and he was forced to leave his position and reported to the police by the parish.

The 23-year-old stood accused of having sexually exploited the two girls but one of the cases was closed as the girl was over 15-years-old (the age of consent in Sweden).

In the other case the man confessed to the charges and was fined a total of 6,400 kronor ($1,000) and ordered to pay the 14-year-old 10,000 kronor in compensation.

But prior to the completion of the police investigation into the case, the man was given a position at Stafsinge parish in Falkenberg in western Sweden, despite the fact that his former pastor had called his new employers to inform them of the man's past.

The two girls also called the pastor in Stafsinge parish, Hans-Evert Renérius, to warn him but claim that they were met with nonchalance.

"What happens if it happens again? They know about it? What do the parents of those going to Stafsinge for confirmation today know about this?" one of the girl's said to HN.

""They said that he had 'given a good impression' and that it 'wasn't so serious'," she added.

The Local has made attempts to contact both Hans-Evert Renérius and his wife Barbo Nordström Renérius, who is chair of the church council which took the decision to employ the man, but calls have not been returned.

According to parish councillor Rune Niserius, a meeting had been called for this evening and the matter will be up for discussion.

"We are going to look at this. The council has a meeting booked in for this evening and I have a number of questions concerning this matter which I want answers to," Niserius told The Local on Wednesday.

Niserius told The Local that he has also been unsuccessful in attempts to contact Hans-Evert Renérius in order to seek clarification on the matter.

"No. But I hope that I will get some answers this evening," he said.

The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:55 May 25, 2011 by Dr. Dillner
Could be worse, he could have molested boys.
12:02 May 25, 2011 by Swedesmith
Give him a job tending sheep.
12:19 May 25, 2011 by Rishonim
Dr. Dillner, what do you mean? Molesting boys is a more serious problem than molesting young girls?
17:33 May 25, 2011 by ironman294
The church of sweden is a joke. It means nothing. Whatever happened to following teh teachings of the Bible?

Pre-marital sex is forbidden.

Statutory rape should be punished, yet all he paid was a fine to young teenagers?

He should be in jail and not allowed to work for a church where he can have access again to children.

Thsi would not be tolerated at my church in the USA.

We are a conservative protestant congregation. Anyone with such moral failings would not be allowed to work for us.
17:36 May 25, 2011 by luke123
Interesting: the court "ordered to pay the 14-year-old 10,000 kronor in compensation."

The court is ordering him to pay a minor for sex. So they are a literally ordering him to commit a crime. Or is it only a crime when it is between consenting adults ?
17:42 May 25, 2011 by Thierry10
Give me a break! He's a sex offender but he just committed petty offenses with a consenting 14 year old for which he has been fined. It's not as if he had molested her. With the other girl, it was legal and there is no evidence he's been disrespectful to her in any way.

Are the two girls stupid, especially the 15-year-old ? They have no reason to complain he got back a job in the church. The church is right, it wasn't so serious.
17:54 May 25, 2011 by luke123
This newspaper is overflowing with imagined 'sex offences'. Is there anyone in Sweden still able to enjoy some sex without someone screaming 'rape' ?

Looks like screaming 'rape' is the legal, official way to get paid for sex. At least if you are a woman. While honest, straighforward sex work is immoral.

I'm sorry, but that's impression I get of this backward country from reading this paper.
18:13 May 25, 2011 by Thierry10
@ironman294 "Whatever happened to following teh teachings of the Bible? Pre-marital sex is forbidden. »

And if God has said that ducks were pink, and if it is written in the Bible, it can just be true !!!! Churches shouldn't think at all ! They shouldn't decide which teachings are relevant and meaningful today, and which are not !!!!

"Statutory rape should be punished, yet all he paid was a fine to young teenagers? He should be in jail »

"Statutory rape" is a misnomer. "Salutory rape" would not only be more ironical, it would also be more appropriate given the pleasurable nature of the acts !

It is cruel to automatically send sb to jail for sex with a consenting person 12 years old or older. Unless there the older partner is disrespectful, it should be legal from that age or at worst punished by ALTERNATIVE sentences. It's a victimless and harmless crime. And no sentence that's creates MORE harm than the offence is ethically acceptable.

By the way, read the article: it was illegal with only one of the girls.
19:21 May 25, 2011 by krattan
I have a notion that it is difficult for the church to find qualified staff in the Falkenberg area.
19:28 May 25, 2011 by the_canadian
He is only 23 years old, its not like he was 40.
21:17 May 25, 2011 by Swedesmith
Maybe he should change denomonations....then it would be ok.
22:22 May 25, 2011 by update-2011
I am not surprised at all in hearing that this guy got job in the "SWEDISH " church regardless of his convictions, how about the priests who allow gay marriage?Isn't that worse?I dont beleive "CHURCH" of Sweden exists anymore.
22:30 May 25, 2011 by wxman
"In the other case the man confessed to the charges and was fined a total of 6,400 kronor ($1,000) and ordered to pay the 14-year-old 10,000 kronor in compensation." Amazing. Instead of being sentenced to prison for 10 years for child rape, he's told to pay her 10,000 kroner as though she's a hooker!
17:45 May 27, 2011 by Moira
I can't believe some people think it is ok to have non- consensual sex with a child, maybe people who make such comments are reflecting their own lack of consideration for children.

Any non - consensual sex is serious,to say otherwise is insulting, and to display any sympathy for those who abuse children is to collude with such abuse.

As for ethics, maybe if offenders behaved ethically in the first place there would be no question of disproportionate sentences.
17:56 May 27, 2011 by Rick Methven
@wxman"" Amazing. Instead of being sentenced to prison for 10 years for child rape, he's told to pay her 10,000 kroner as though she's a hooker!"

When he pays her the 10k, they can arrest him again, as it is a crime to pay for sex in Sweden
21:52 May 27, 2011 by Thierry10
@Moira

You're being awarded a prize. Your comment is the most dishonest, ridiculous and off the subject one under this article. It would be interesting to know where one can learn to fake illiteracy as much as you.
23:11 May 27, 2011 by Moira
@Thierry10

Dishonest, ridiculous, off the subject, illiterate ? evidence please

Whilst we are on the subject of illiteracy, you might learn to spell 'salutary' and look up the definition, I can't say I have ever seen any evidence of child abuse being beneficial to the child, is yours?

Faking? I was faking nothing, my concern for children is genuine

And focusing on the issue, rather than moving to personal criticism would be more 'honest'
16:46 May 28, 2011 by bcterry
Religion and sex abuse, particularly with innocent children, go hand in hand.
18:34 May 31, 2011 by tadchem
Does the Church have a need for crippled and disfigured bell-ringers? I'm sure his qualifications could be arranged.
18:39 October 8, 2011 by diehard25fl
good for him. people deserve 2nd chances in life. hope he gets promoted to pope.
16:29 January 8, 2012 by janeway
@ 17:42 May 25, 2011 by Thierry10

Not so serious, right. And if it had been your daughter, it would also be "not so serious". Right. And, a 14 y/o can not consent to sex because the age of consent is 15. Moron.

17:54 May 25, 2011 by luke123

Why do insist on living in this "backward country"?

18:13 May 25, 2011 by Thierry10

A victimless and harmless crime? You are not for real! You have to be a troll! Do you know any of the girls involved? Do you know how they felt after being taken advantage of by this leader of their confirmation group? Does it ring a bell for you when reading about how the victims contacted the church about the perp? So, technically it was illegal with only one of the girls. It doesn't make it right, becauee he used his upper hand to do these crimes. Thierry, why don't you, the Troll, go back under that bridge or rock where you belong?

"7:45 May 27, 2011 by Moira

I can't believe some people think it is ok to have non- consensual sex with a child, maybe people who make such comments are reflecting their own lack of consideration for children.

Any non - consensual sex is serious,to say otherwise is insulting, and to display any sympathy for those who abuse children is to collude with such abuse.

As for ethics, maybe if offenders behaved ethically in the first place there would be no question of disproportionate sentences."

A really good post, Moira!
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