Prosecutor wants to see Beltran behind bars

The trial of opera star Tito Beltran ended today in Ystad with the prosecuting attorney calling for a minimum sentence of two years in prison.

“The indictment is strong and there are no extenuating circumstances. Beltran ought to be sentenced for rape,” said prosecutor Anna Håkansson.

She also demanded that Beltran remain in custody pending the court’s judgment.

Singer Maria Lundqvist’s former nanny was present in the Ystad district courtroom for the final day of the trial.

She has accused the 42-year old Beltran of raping the then 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.

Security had been stepped up following threats against former justice minister Thomas Bodström, who is representing the plaintiff in the case.

Beltran appeared more pale than usual and whispered briefly to his wife before he took his place in the courtroom.

Proceedings began with judge Thomas Främby announcing that one of the jurors had left the case because of statements in the press.

The judge later asked the former nanny why she waited until the spring of 2007 to press charges.

“In part because my relationship with my parents improved, in part because I was influenced by the outcome of the other trial in which Beltran was accused and then set free,” she said.

The woman later stated that she had suffered from a lack of ability to concentrate, stomach problems and insomnia. Soon thereafter, she broke down in tears.

In her closing statements, prosecutor Anna Håkansson said that the evidence in the case was convincing.

“The interview with the plaintiff was unbelievably strong. Her story has all the signs of describing something she experienced herself,” said Håkansson.

She considered the testimony of Maria Lundqvist and Carola Häggkvist as strong supporting evidence for the nanny’s version of events.

“They saw how torn up she was. For them it was clear she had been the victim of an attack,” added the prosecutor.

But Beltran’s lawyer, Tomas Nilsson, argued that it was not enough for the former nanny’s testimony to appear credible. The quality of the evidence should be the deciding factor, he argued.

According to Nilsson, his client was reported to the police in a bid to damage his reputation and bring about the reversal of a verdict in a previous sex offence case. Beltran was cleared last year of charges of sexually abusing a girl, who is now aged 13, between 2000 and 2002.