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HIV Brit's 'youngest victim was 12'

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12:02 CEST+02:00
Police have reported that the youngest victim of the British man suspected of infecting at least two young girls with HIV was just twelve years old.

The man, 32, was arrested on Tuesday and has been remanded in custody in Stockholm. He is suspected of having contacted around 130 girls via internet chatrooms between 2003 and 2006. Most of the girls were in their early teens.

"He was brought in to a police station in 2006 but was released due to a lack of evidence," police spokeswoman Diana Sundin told The Local.

Last month police were provided with more concrete evidence by acquaintances of the man. The suspect was subletting a friend's apartment at the time and had fallen several months behind on his rent, Aftonbladet reports.

When a group of people forced their way into the apartment in April they found photographs taken during the man's sexual encounters with a number of the young girls. They also found a selection of his antiretroviral drugs.

The suspect also video-taped a number of the meetings, according to Expressen.

A police source informed the newspaper that "the youngest victim was twelve years old".

The man contacted girls through internet communities including Lunarstorm and Snuttis.

"He chatted with them, calling himself Hot Boy," Diana Sundin told The Local.

Prosecutor Sara Lindqvist said that the girls who had become infected or might be infected were all born between 1986 and 1990. She would not say how many women she wanted to undergo HIV tests as part of the investigation, but said that "a large number" of women could be asked to take the test.

At least two women have been confirmed as infected. For those two offences the prosecutor applied for the man to be remanded in custody for serious assault. He was also remanded on several counts of attempted assault or putting another person in danger.

The man's lawyer, Hanna Lindblom, said the man admitted one charge of serious assault and charges of attempted serious assault.

"That's his position on the allegations today, anyway," she said.

He has also admitted to having had unprotected sex with many more of the girls, according to Expressen.

A specialist clinic at the Karolinska University Hospital in Solna, Stockholm, is taking care of those girls who wish to be tested. Those whose names are brought forward by the investigation are automatically being sent letters calling them for a test, said Dr. Ingela Berggren Palme, deputy chief disease prevention officer for Stockholm County.

People concerned that they could have contracted the virus are being told to contact the health services for information about testing.

The suspect is a British citizen, and lives in southern Stockholm. A number of the alleged crimes were carried out in Hässelby, north-western Stockholm, according to court documents.

"He has been living here for a long time," said Diana Sundin.

According to Aftonbladet, the suspect has in fact lived in Sweden for most of his life.

According to previous reports in Expressen, the man was first arrested at the end of April, at which time he was held for a short while before being released. The man's computer was confiscated by police.

The paper also quotes an unidentified source saying that the man has been HIV positive for 15 years. The crimes are alleged to have been committed between 2003 and 2006.

The man has previous convictions for a number of crimes, including 31 cases of vehicle theft. None of his crimes have been of a violent nature.

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