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Child rape suspect used internet to lure girls

Published: 29 Mar 2006 11:30 GMT+02:00
Updated: 29 Mar 2006 11:30 GMT+02:00

A 36 year old man has been taken into police custody in Stockholm on suspicion of raping three young girls, one of whom was 14 years old.

Police believe that the man could have assaulted many more girls whom he contacted via the internet.

During the last three years the man has made contact with hundreds of young girls via a popular youth web site. In a raid on his home in Enköping, northwest of Stockholm, police found a register with the names and telephone numbers of several hundred girls aged 13 to 17.

"About 50 of the girls are, at a guess, under 15," said prosecutor Solveig Sörlien to TT.

A few weeks ago three girls aged 14 and 15 reported the man to the police, alleging that he had raped them. The man was arrested on suspicion of child rape, as well as assault of one of the girls.

He admitted that he had had sex with the girls but denied having committed a crime.

Two of the girls said that they had been forced to have sex with the man, while the 14 year old said she had had sex with him of her own free will. However, since she is under the age of consent, which in Sweden is 15, that is regarded as rape.

The attacks for which the man has been charged happened at the man's home, at his workplace in Stockholm and, on one occasion, at the home of one of the girls.

The police are now focusing their efforts on trying to contact other girls in the man's register, in order to determine whether others have been exposed to sexual attacks.

"I would be very surprised if he has not met more girls. This could be worryingly far-reaching," said Solveig Sörlien.

Paul Rapacioli (paul.rapacioli@thelocal.com)

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