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Ex-royal bodyguard's rape sentence tossed out

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15:24 CEST+02:00
A Swedish appeals court overturned the conviction of a Swedish Security Service and former royal bodyguard on Tuesday.

The 50-year-old man had been sentenced in May to six years in prison for aggravated rape and obstruction of justice. The verdict described the aggravated rape as "torturous."

He was also convicted of obstruction of justice after threatening to break the neck of the alleged victim's son.

"He has been cleared of all the charges," Hanna Lindström, public prosecutor at the Svea court of appeal told The Local on Tuesday, adding that the alleged victim and prosecutors can appeal the decision at the Supreme Court.

According to the court of appeal, there were "legitimate grounds to doubt" whether the plaintiff's story about the incident was accurate and reliable, newspaper Upsala Nya Tidning (UNT) reported on Tuesday.

The court also questioned whether the preliminary investigation had sufficiently verified the woman's story. The case has been word against word about what happened, the report said.

The court of appeal stated that both parties are credible, but that the woman did not report the matter herself, nor was she initially willing to cooperate in the investigation into the alleged rape. However, new evidence has put her description of the event in doubt, the report said.

Meanwhile, a chief physician who specialises in hypothermia testified in the court of appeal that the woman would have found it difficult to speak or flee if she had been outdoors for the duration of time that she alleged. She testified that she had run to the man's car to drive from the alleged crime scene and had made several phone calls.

The ex-bodyguard, who was fired following the May conviction, has consistently denied all the charges against him.

The alleged rape took place in the September 2009 at a cottage in the Almunge region east of Uppsala where the man was staying at the time.

During the trial in May, chief prosecutor Monica Mimer described an extremely brutal rape involving anal sex, beatings, detention and handcuffing. The victim was degraded and made to fear for her life, Mimer said.

According to Mimer, the man had a pistol lying next to him during the attack, reinforcing the threat to the woman.

The policeman was also charged with obstruction of justice after making threats against the woman's son. The policeman threatened to hurt him so badly that he would be disabled for life.

At the time of the alleged attack, the woman was in the process of trying to break off a relationship with the man, according to Swedish media reports.

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