Priest jailed for fondling woman

A Swedish parish priest has been convicted of sexually assaulting a woman he met through a Christian website.

The pair gave different versions of what happened when the priest visited the woman in her home. She had invited him for tea, and claims that he lay on top of her, fondled her and made “sex-like movements”.

The prosecutor had accused the priest of rape, but Gothenburg District Court found him not guilty on that charge, saying that the couple had not had sexual intercourse.

The Church of Sweden priest denied assaulting her, saying only that he had kissed her on the mouth and forehead. He had been surprised when she had received him wearing pyjamas.

The defence revealed during the trial that the woman had reported another man for sexual assault a few years ago, making similar allegations. But the court decided that this was not relevant to the case.

The Gothenburg District Court said it found the woman to be reliable, and believed her story.

The court said that the priest should have been given four months in prison but it took account of the fact that he would probably lose his job upon conviction, and limited the sentence to two months. He was also told to pay 50,000 kronor in damages.