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Cop fined for outing child sex offender

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12:12 CET+01:00
A Swedish police officer who blew the whistle on a convicted paedophile's plans to start a youth education centre has himself been fined for defamation.

In the summer of 2007, policeman Kent Eriksen met the man in question and later learned that he had been sent to prison for molesting a 13-year-old boy.

Eriksen subsequently heard through an acquaintance that the same man was planning to open the education centre for young people.

“I began to look into it further and discovered the project was getting money from the Swedish Inheritance Fund,” he told The Local.

The government-administered Swedish Inheritance Fund (Arvsfonden) consists of unclaimed inheritances of deceased Swedes and was created in 1928 when the Riksdag abolished the right of inheritance for cousins and distant relatives.

Money from the Inheritance Fund is awarded to “non-profit organizations and other voluntary associations wishing to test new ideas for developing activities for children, young people and the disabled.”

Altogether, the convicted paedophile had received about 6 million kronor ($743,000) from the fund to launch an education centre for young people with special needs.

According to the Expressen newspaper, the man had been convicted for luring a 13-year-old boy from a public swimming pool with the promise of a chance to ride on the man's motorcycle.

The man then took the boy to his home and sexually molested him. In the coming months, the man took the boy to his home and several occasions, where he had both oral and anal sex with the boy.

When police raided the man's home, they found pictures of child pornography in the man's computer as well as pornographic videos featuring children.

The man claimed the boy was lying about the abuse and that the child pornography in the apartment wasn't his, but the court rejected the man's claims.

While government officials were thankful to receive the police officer's tip, and consequently cut off funding for the project, Eriksen's attempt to be a Good Samaritan resulted in charges of defamation.

In its ruling, the Stockholm District Court noted that the sexual molestation charge was four years old and that Eriksen was unaware of the specifics of the case.

In addition, the convicted paedophile's education centre was directed for young people over 18 years of age rather than children.

“Viewed objectively, therefore, it was not justifiable to bring the conviction to the attention of the Inheritance Fund,” wrote the court.

Eriksen was ordered to pay a total of 80,000 kronor, including attorney fees, compensation to the paedophile, interest, and a fine of 48,000 kronor.

As he is considering an appeal, Eriksen didn't want to comment on the specifics of the ruling other than expressing his dissatisfaction with the court's decision.

“I'm disappointed with the ruling, that's for sure,” he said.

Nevertheless, he doesn't regret his actions.

“If I had the same choice and the same information today, I would have acted in the exact same way,” he said.

“I'm convinced by my ideological and moral convictions that I did the right thing.”

Despite the court's decision, Eriksen doesn't feel that Swedish defamation laws should be changed to better protect whistleblowers.

“There's nothing wrong with the laws themselves,” he said.

“As far as I'm concerned, I haven't broken the law.”

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