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'Kiss man' jailed and released

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10:43 CEST+02:00
A 37-year-old medical student referred to in the Swedish media as "the kiss man" has been sentenced to two months in jail for sexual harassment. But the man, a French national, was released immediately after the court announced its verdict since he had already served his time in custody while awaiting trial.

The defendant was indicted on 14 charges of sexual harassment and two charges of harassment after making unwanted advances on a number of young women in Lund and Malmö last year and in the early months of 2009.

The 37-year-old, an exchange student at Lund University's medicine faculty, was arrested after the university's security division was able to track his movements and connect him to the crimes.

When the verdict was announced, Judge Lena Peterson said the court took a particularly dim view of one incident, newspaper Skånska Dagbladet reports. She referred to a case in which the student dragged his victim into a dark area at the university hospital library in Lund, reached under her sweater and kissed her before she managed to break free from his clutches.

Prior to the trial, the 37-year-old underwent a psychiatric evaluation which showed that he had diminished mental capacity but was not suffering from a serious psychiatric condition.

The public prosecutor had called for a jail sentence as well as a five year deportation order. Although the studnet has not been barred from staying he Sweden, he told Skånska Dagbladet he now planned to return home to Paris.

The man's modus operandi was identical in all of the attacks.

He approached the women to ask for road directions, or alternatively advice on which present he should buy his 10-year-old cousin or niece. When the women replied he then proceeded to give them a hearty hug, kiss them on the cheek and moan in their ear.

The attacks occurred in March and April 2008 and then "the kiss man" went off the radar.

Lund University's security department was then able to solve the mystery when the man resumed his public displays of unwanted affection in January and February of this year.

Police were able to apprehend the man when university library staff identified him as he attempted to borrow some books.

The man was arrested and three Lund women positively identified their attacker in a police identification parade. The man was remanded into custody in late March.

In his defence, the French student offered the explanation that in his culture it is natural to kiss women on the cheek.

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