Stars gather for celebrity rape trial

Stars gather for celebrity rape trial
A selection of Sweden's most popular entertainers are to be called as witnesses when the trial begins of opera singer Tito Beltran in Ystad on Friday.

The 42-year-old opera star is accused of raping an 18-year-old nanny at a hotel in Nötesjö in Skåne following his participation in a Rhapsody in Rock concert in the area in 1999.

Musician Anders Berglund and Robert Wells – the artist behind the popular Rhapsody in Rock tours – will both testify over the phone as they are currently out of the country.

But a major media presence is expected in the town to greet the appearance in court of singers Carola Häggkvist and Lill Lindfors.

Former Justice Minister Thomas Bodström (SocDem) will represent the young woman, who was working for actress Maria Lundqvist at the time of the alleged rape.

Tito Beltran has denied the charges. He said that the young woman came to his room, eventually stripping down to her underwear. They slept side by side, he said, but insisted that it was “very innocent.”

The tenor believes the accusations made against him to be part of a conspiracy orchestrated by a former relative, a prosecutor and his well-known entertainment colleagues.

Prosecutor Anna Håkansson is hoping to disprove this assertion when she calls the artists in question to the witness stand.