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Swede charged for sex crimes against 13 girls

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14:24 CET+01:00
A 34-year-old man was charged on Monday for aggravated sexual crimes against 13 young girls between the ages of eight and 11.

The suspect filmed the assaults, giving the prosecution the best possible evidence, and police fear that there are more victims. The crimes were committed around Stockholm and Uppsala.

The man allegedly forced the girls to perform oral sex on him after he blindfolded them. Four of the girls who were filmed have not yet been identified and are classified as "unknown" in the indictment filed at Södertörn district court south of Stockholm.

The crimes entail about dozen cases of aggravated rape against children, aggravated sexual assault against children and sexual molestation.

"This is really a case that stands out from the rest and makes one feel unusually ill at ease. He has acted with cunning and seems to have devoted much of his waking hours on these tendencies," said detective superintendent Manne Jönsson, head of the serious crimes unit in southern Stockholm, told the TT news agency.

Following a raid on the suspect's home, police found evidence against him in the forms of videos and mobile phone videos of the assaults for which he is now being prosecuted.

"We have worked hard to try to find the four girls who are still unidentified and hope that something new will emerge in connection with the trial that will give us a breakthrough," said Jönsson.

He pointed out that the police are also concerned that there may be other victims of the suspected paedophile who are not currently known.

"There are usually more in such cases here and this is no exception," said Jönsson.

The man committed the crimes from 2006 until his arrest last summer. He often made contact with the girls in the stairwells of the buildings where they live.

The crimes were committed in various suburbs around southern Stockholm, including Hökarängen, Spånga, Farsta and Rågsved, in addition to one case in Uppsala.

"The children have been wronged in an extraordinarily serious way. They have suffered badly psychologically and will suffer from deep scars," said lawyer Elisabeth Massi Fritz, who is the assistant prosecutor for a couple of the girls.

It is particularly serious for the children because they were exposed in the places where they live and should feel safe, she added. Like the police, Massi Fritz fears that there are considerably more vulnerable children who have not yet been found.

The investigation concerning the man has been extensive and taken a long time. He was arrested after police were called to a playground in Farsta in early July 2010.

"There were two teenage boys who saw him trying to make contact with young girls. They told each other that he is probably a paedophile. They decided that if he were still there when they came back after eating pizza, they would call the police," said Jönsson.

The teenagers were later honoured by the chief commissioner of the county police department for their efforts.

The suspect has denied the crimes since the start of the investigation, but when he was confronted with the evidence, he has admitted to more crimes than those of which he is currently accused.

He is currently a patient at a court-appointed psychiatric clinic in Huddinge, where he is undergoing an examination conducted by a forensic psychiatrist that will show whether he is seriously mentally disturbed or not.

The trial of the man will begin in two weeks.

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