Ten face trial in teen pimping scandal

The trial of ten men 10 men suspected of having sold a mentally handicapped 14-year-old girl for sex opened in Malmö district court on Monday.

Prosecutor Ulrika Rogland argued that the girl has been traded as a commodity and wants several of the defendants convicted for human trafficking.

Five of the men have been charged with trafficking or assisting in human trafficking, and eight for rape. All of the suspects are men aged 16- to 67-years-old.

The case has generated a great deal of interest and all of the visitors’ places in the secure chamber at Malmö district court were full. Some of the relatives of the accused attempted to get the attention of their family members and had to be silenced by police and guards.

Police employed tight security outside the court on Stortorget in central Malmö, checking the identity of all car drivers entering the square, according to the local Sydsvenskan daily.

Ulrika Rogland opened her case by relating how the 14-year-old girl, diagnosed with learning difficulties, was in March drugged with alcohol and narcotics and then abused sexually by several men in succession.

The presiding judge was obliged to interrupt Rogland’s presentation of her case to seek clarification over the charges and the compensation demands from the girl.

The girl is alleged to have been sexually abused and raped by several different men after she ran away from a foster home in a nearby municipality last March before ending up in the Rosengård district of Malmö.

Although she is 14-years-old she is reported to have the mental age of a girl several years younger.

The case is reminiscent of another case involving a mentally handicapped 14-year-old girl who was also sold for sex. In that case, investigators were unable to track down the customers who paid for sex with the teen.

The present case is also significant because it represents the first time that prosecutors in Sweden have attempted to classify pimping crimes as human trafficking.

“I think these crimes are more serious, more like human trafficking than pimping,” Rogland told TV4 when the charges were announced on September 15th, pointing out that the girl was transported between different locations and used sexually by several different men.

The trial is expected to last 10 days.