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TRAFFICKING

Three convicted for sex trafficking of Slovak teen

Three men were sentenced to prison on Thursday for their role in a sex trafficking scheme in which a 17-year-old girl was forced to sell sex to several men in Skåne in southern Sweden.

The 17-year-old girl, a native of Slovakia, grew up under impoverished circumstances before being thrown out by her father. Soon thereafter she met up with 26-year-old Karol Rafael, a member of the local mafia, who offered her a place to stay, the Expressen newspaper reports.

But Rafael’s offer came with strings attached, and soon the girl was being forced to sell sex at brothels in Germany in order to earn money for the mobsters.

After two weeks at the German brothel, the 17-year-old was then taken to Denmark to sell herself on the streets before then being brought to Sweden by 38-year-old Miroslav Horvath, according to Expressen.

Horvath and Rafael brought the girl to the home of 62-year-old Rolf Nilsson in Staffanstorp in southern Sweden.

Nilsson, who had previously been convicted in 2005 for operating a brothel, then sold the teenager for sex with a number of men.

He also drove the 17-year-old around to other houses in southern Sweden where paying customers were waiting to have sex with the girl.

The girl may not have escaped from the ordeal had she not happened to tell her story to a Slovak-speaker who turned out to be her last customer. Upon hearing that the teen was being forced to sell sex against her will, he promptly took her to the local police station.

When questioned by police, the 17-year-old explained that she was afraid to run away because she didn’t speak Swedish and had no connections in the country.

“Where would I have gone? I didn’t know anyone there. Nor could I make myself understood and without any money I couldn’t do anything,” she told police, according to the newspaper.

On Wednesday, the district court in Malmö convicted Rafael for human trafficking crimes, sentencing him to three and a half years in prison. In addition, Rafael will be deported at the conclusion of his sentence and will be barred from entering Sweden before 2020.

Horvath was also convicted of human trafficking, as well as assault and aggravated theft, and received a prison sentence of two years and nine months.

Brothel operator Nilsson, meanwhile, was sentenced to 15 months in prison for pimping.

“The ruling will in all likelihood be appealed,” Nilsson’s attorney Bo Gülich told Expressen.

In addition to convicting the three men responsible for forcing the 17-year-old to sell sex, the court also convicted three other men in the case, one for pimping, and two for purchasing sexual services from a minor.

SEX

Swedish pastor admits to buying sex

A pastor from central Sweden has been convicted of buying sex from a prostitute after being nabbed when police broke up a major pimping operation.

Swedish pastor admits to buying sex

The pastor, a man in his early fifties, was ordered to pay a fine of 15,000 kronor ($2,300) and has been temporarily relieved of his duties with the Church of Sweden (Svenska kyrkan).

“What I did was really stupid and it’s something I deeply regret,” the pastor told the Expressen newspaper.

The pastor was home by himself looking at the websites of various escort services before deciding to call one of the numbers.

He requested to have a woman come to his home address where police, who had been tracking a suspected pimping operation with ties to Romania, were on hand to watch the pastor let the woman into his home.

The pastor then paid the woman 1,500 kronor before they both disrobed and engaged in sexual intercourse, he admitted to police during a subsequent interrogation, Expressen reported.

The case was tied to a large pimping operation through which young women from Romania were sold for sex to clients in Sweden. The operation was managed through a call-centre based in Romania.

“These woman were used as if they were on a conveyor belt,” detective Anders Nilshagen of the police’s human trafficking section told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

Four men have since been convicted for their role in running the pimping ring, which was in operation for 18 months.

Meanwhile, he pastor has been temporarily stripped of his duties in the wake of the sex buying scandal.

“This can’t happen. It’s totally unacceptable,” Church of Sweden spokesman Pär Sandberg told DN.

The cathedral chapter is set to review the pastor’s case later this month and take a stand on his future with the church.

TT/The Local/dl

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