The suspect, a man in his sixties, was arrested at a hotel in Falun at lunchtime on Monday.
Former colleagues recalled how the man was known both in Sweden and internationally for giving talks on the importance of gender equality and the perils of sexual harassment. His long career included a number of high-level positions within the Swedish justice system,
“If the suspicion are corrects, it is the worst transgression I have ever seen from a police chief,” said Sweden’s national police commissioner Bengt Svensson.
“I can understand that a lot of people might feel deceived today,” he added.
According to prosecutor Håkan Roswall, the man is suspected of a rape carried out in the Stockholm suburb Bandhagen just over a year ago. He is also suspected of attempting to rape and plotting to rape children in Solna, Stockholm and Falun in the first month of 2010.
The suspect has worked within the Swedish justice system for more than 20 years, leaving Swedish Police Union chairman Jan Karlsen shocked by news of his arrest, particularly as he had been so vocal in his disdain for sex crimes.
“The image of the man was that he was an active public speaker and commentator who always argued for the exact opposite,” he told news agency TT.