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Boy taken into care after village rape case

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Boy taken into care after village rape case
14:44 CEST+02:00
The boy convicted of raping two girls in Bjästa near Örnsköldsvik in northern Sweden will be taken into municipal care on his release from youth custody.

The boy, 'Oskar' was convicted in the autumn 2009 for the rape of two girls, named only as 'Linnea' and 'Jennifer'.

"The municipality will now assume responsibility for the boy from April 1st. He is to be taken into care according to the Care of Young Persons Act (lagen om vård av unga - LVU)," said Jan-Olov Häggström at Örnsköldsvik municipality to news agency TT.

According to LVU, the alternative is normally invoked as a result of a parent's inability to adequately care for a child, the behaviour of the youth, or a combination of factors.

The municipality has also decided to continue funding the education of Linnea at a boarding school 500 kilometres from the town.

According to Häggström the matter had been given higher priority as a result of the massive national media interest that followed the broadcast of a Sveriges Television (SVT) documentary over the rapes and their aftermath last Wednesday.

"Those who claim that media interest did not have any influence, are not really telling the truth. There has been a lot more pressure brought to bear on us all," he said.

Häggström claimed however that he had reflected over the situation in Bjästa long before the broadcast of SVT's Uppdrag Granskning programme detailing an extensive smear campaign directed against 14-year-old Linnea which eventually forced her family to move.

"It is something I have given a lot of thought to over the past year - how the boy can have a positive future, whether the girl can move back... This programme opened everything up. Now that everything is out in the open then perhaps a solution is possible," he said.

The Local reported last week that a storm of outrage met the revelations that the 14-year-old girl from the small Swedish community was raped at her school only to be rejected by her friends and adult society when she reported the attack.

Despite having admitted the offence, the 15-year-old boy was welcomed back in a vocal public demonstration held at an end of term awards ceremony in the local church that Linnea had not felt able to attend.

Later that day Oskar joined up with his classmates to celebrate the end of term. During the evening the boy then carried out a second rape, of a 17-year-old girl, Jennifer.

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