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Ex-police chief appeals jail term for sex offences

Göran Lindberg, the former Uppsala county police chief convicted in July for a string of sex crimes, has appealed his six and half year prison sentence.

Ex-police chief appeals jail term for sex offences

Lindberg, who faced a total of 23 charges, has appealed against a charge of aggravated rape, two cases of rape, one of assault and one of pimping.

The former senior police officer and principal of Sweden’s police training college, was found guilty on all but six of the charges levelled against him, admitting only to the charges of paying for sex.

He was acquitted of one charge of rape, three charges of pimping and one charge of preparing to rape a child.

Prosecutors had wanted Lindberg to serve eight years in jail, but he was sentenced to six and half years, as well as substantial damages and legal expenses. Lindberg has now also appealed to get these financial penalties reduced.

The man’s lawyer Karl Harling argued that there are grounds for appeal as the Södertörn district court placed inordinately low demands on the standard of evidence.

Furthermore he argued that the court made an erroneous evaluation of the evidence with regards to the aggravated rape of a 17-year-old girl at a conference centre in Täby in Stockholm. Harling argues that the case is a matter of word against word and maintained that the victim’s testimony was muddled and superficial.

The exceedingly detailed nature of Lindberg’s testimony has been wrongly interpreted as evidence of it being a reconstruction after the event, Harling furthermore argued, and should instead lend his testimony more credibility.

Lindberg was arrested on January 25th 2010 in Falun, where he was on his way to a meeting with a young girl with whom he had planned a sexual encounter. At this point he had been under police surveillance for some time.

When he was arrested, Lindberg was carrying a bag containing items that could be used to facilitate sexual assaults.

The charges against Lindberg sent shockwaves through the Swedish police service. His seniority and the nature of the charges against him make it the biggest ever scandal in Swedish policing.

The impact of the charges was all the greater due to Lindberg’s reputation as one of the Swedish police’s top authorities on ethics and morals. He frequently gave lectures on topics such as gender equality and spoke out against sexual harassment and bullying.

Two members of the police board in Uppsala County spoke out after the trial, demanding the establishment of a “truth commission” to investigate whether Lindberg committed crimes while he was serving as chief constable, between 1997 and 2006.

Prosecutor Håkan Roswall said that two prostitutes have claimed he was a client while he was still chief constable. The allegations were not investigated because the crimes had exceeded the statute of limitations.

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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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