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'Cyberpimp' trial opens in Stockholm

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'Cyberpimp' trial opens in Stockholm
14:35 CET+01:00
A Swedish "Cyberpimp" is currently on trial at Stockholm district court, facing accusations that he sold at least 15 young women for sex.

The 38-year-old man, referred to in media reports by the pseudonym "Anders Pettersson", faces charges that carry a penalty of up to eight years in prison.

Four of the women he is alleged to have sold have accused him of rape, according to the charge sheet given to the Aftonbladet newspaper by an unnamed source.

Pettersson, who has given his occupation as a sales person and party organizer, is rather unusual when compared to other Swedish pimps.

Most of the prostitutes operating in Sweden have foreign backgrounds and are already controlled by pimps upon arrival in the country.

In contrast, Pettersson offered a "complete concept", including a Swedish web-page, advertising, booking, and background checks on customers, all in return for a 30 percent commission, Aftonbladet writes.

According to the charges levelled against him, Pettersson began his pimping career in the summer of 2007 when he scanned a wealth of internet websites in search of women who he felt would fit the profile for the product he wanted to develop.

One of the women he became interested in was a disabled 19-year-old, known as "Stina" or "Sandra", and advertised for sale by her husband, "Lennart" - a 44-year-old known paedophile.

Anders offered his "complete sales concept" to Lennart who then relocated with his teenage bride to Gothenburg in August 2007.

Lennart was given a five and a half year prison sentence for pimping and other charges by a Stockholm court in July and the case laid the trail of evidence that then took police to Pettersson.

When police became aware that Lennart was selling his wife for sex from an apartment in Gothenburg they took him in for questioning and he gave up the name of Anders Pettersson. Police were then able to close the net on the Swedish "cyberpimp".

The trial of 39-year-old "Anders Pettersson" at Stockholm district court will continue until Christmas.

The trial is shrouded in secrecy and is under a complete media courtroom blackout to protect the identities of the women, three of whom were 17-years-old at the time.

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