Sex offender assigned new church position

A 23-year-old man who had relationships with several confirmation candidates and has been convicted of a sex offence has been assigned a new job within the Church of Sweden.

The man has been given a new job at Stafsinge parish in western Sweden despite the fact that church superiors knew of his conviction, according to a report in the local Hallands Nyheter (HN) daily.

The man was employed in a parish in central Sweden in a role with responsibility for young confirmation candidates. During the course of their education the man began a relationship with at least two girls, aged 14 and 15-years-old, the newspaper reports.

The man’s behaviour, which included encouraging the girls to pose naked, was ultimately exposed and he was forced to leave his position and reported to the police by the parish.

The 23-year-old stood accused of having sexually exploited the two girls but one of the cases was closed as the girl was over 15-years-old (the age of consent in Sweden).

In the other case the man confessed to the charges and was fined a total of 6,400 kronor ($1,000) and ordered to pay the 14-year-old 10,000 kronor in compensation.

But prior to the completion of the police investigation into the case, the man was given a position at Stafsinge parish in Falkenberg in western Sweden, despite the fact that his former pastor had called his new employers to inform them of the man’s past.

The two girls also called the pastor in Stafsinge parish, Hans-Evert Renérius, to warn him but claim that they were met with nonchalance.

“What happens if it happens again? They know about it? What do the parents of those going to Stafsinge for confirmation today know about this?” one of the girl’s said to HN.

“”They said that he had ‘given a good impression’ and that it ‘wasn’t so serious’,” she added.

The Local has made attempts to contact both Hans-Evert Renérius and his wife Barbo Nordström Renérius, who is chair of the church council which took the decision to employ the man, but calls have not been returned.

According to parish councillor Rune Niserius, a meeting had been called for this evening and the matter will be up for discussion.

“We are going to look at this. The council has a meeting booked in for this evening and I have a number of questions concerning this matter which I want answers to,” Niserius told The Local on Wednesday.

Niserius told The Local that he has also been unsuccessful in attempts to contact Hans-Evert Renérius in order to seek clarification on the matter.

“No. But I hope that I will get some answers this evening,” he said.

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