The man was found guilty three counts of child rape and sexual assault against one boy and of sexual assault against another boy. He was also found guilty of 16 counts of sexual harassment.
The victims were all boys aged 11-16. Six of them had come into contact with the man through a sports club in southern Stockholm where he was a trainer. The others had been contacted via social networking sites including Play Ahead, Facebook and MSN.
One of the boys, aged 12, was forced through threats and violence to have oral sex with the man.
He suggested that several of the boys participate in sexual acts; he also sent several of the boys sex films. This, the court said, amounted to sexual harassment.
The trainer was arrested last winter after he was reported by parents and his sports club.
Lawyer Pia Tengvall, who represented the boys in court, said she feared that other youngsters may have been targeted by the man but been afraid to come forward:
“It is not unlikely that there are a number of unreported cases – he’s been working for several years,” she said.
Tengvall added that the guilty verdict had been expected:
“The evidence was strong and these young boys have given very credible statements.”
In addition to the prison sentence, the man was ordered to pay 180,000 kronor in damages to the boy he was convicted of raping, as well as 10,000 kronor to another boy and sums of between 5,000 and 10,000 kronor to the remaining fourteen boys.
Tengvall said she had requested more money in damages for the worst-affected boy. The man’s position as a trainer and role model was an aggravating factor in the case and had made the boys even more vulnerable, she said:
“We’re talking about very young boys. He had a special position as a leader in this club and many of the guys looked up to him. He was very well-liked.”
The man pleaded guilty to most of the charges. In questioning, he told police that he “felt a sexual attraction to younger boys which was hard to control.”