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American man sentenced for stalking Swede

Published: 11 Aug 2014 16:43 GMT+02:00

The young American man and teenage Swedish girl met in 2012 through a game of Wordfeud, a phone app game similar to Scrabble.

But what started as a game led to unrequited love and, finally, an attempted kidnapping, documents released by news agency Siren revealed on Monday. 

The two began chatting on the messaging service Kik, when the girl was "going through a tough period", the prosecutor wrote. At first the girl appreciated the man for his online company. In July 2013 the American visited the girl in Sweden. 

They began to lose contact when the girl started high school last autumn, made new friends, and lost interest in the man. The Swede gradually stopped responding to most of his messages.

When the girl explained she wanted to cut contact, the man called her a "bitch". The girl also reported that he threatened to kidnap her a couple of times - but that she always took it as a joke.

The 20-year-old came for another short visit in January 2014, although the girl told him she was too busy to meet him. They met for only a few minutes. When the girl told him in February that she had a boyfriend, he didn't seem to care.

But on the morning of April 3rd, the American showed up outside her house in Stockholm. The man loitered in her family's driveway and then sat by the door. He had a rental car nearby, containing rope, cable tie wraps, and strong tape. He had a knife in his pocket, an empty gun holster on his hip, and an iron pipe in his hand.

The man entered the house through the unlocked door after one of the girl's younger brothers stepped outside to go to school. He was only in the house for about a minute, as the girl's father discovered him and began shouting. 

When police arrived at the scene the man shouted "Shoot me". Police arrested the man, who claimed that the girl "still meant a lot" to him and that he had only wanted to gather some items to remember her by. 

The 20-year-old has confessed to violation of domicile and attempted robbery, but has denied attempted abduction.

Evidence against the man included his iPhone, on which he had searched for information on the girl's school, neighbourhood, the family's contact details, and information about the punishment for murder in Sweden.

In July the man was sentenced to one year in prison and deportation from Sweden, not to return for at least ten years. The man must also pay the girl 14,000 kronor ($2,045) in damages. 

Both the man and the girl have now appealed the sentence.

The girl's lawyer has demanded a stronger punishment and 24,000 kronor ($3,500) in damages, while the man's lawyer has requested that the prison sentence be decreased or altered to a non-custodial sentence on the grounds that the man never intended to kidnap the girl.

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