Charges filed against sex chamber suspect

Charges filed against sex chamber suspect
The 47-year-old man suspected of holding a woman prisoner in an underground sex-chamber in western Sweden was charged on Wednesday of kidnapping and aggravated rape.

After the discovery of the dungeon-like room was made public earlier this year, a woman in her thirties went to the police claiming the 47-year-old had held her captive in the sex-chamber for a number of days, several years ago.

During questioning, the man denied committing any crime, but admitted that he had been in the cellar of an abandoned farmhouse north of Halmstad.

The hidden underground lair, which was discovered by a pair of amateur photographers, contained handcuffs and a collection of sex toys, as well as a bed fitted out with an elaborate set of harnesses and ropes that could have been used to hold people against their will.

The charges against the man include kidnapping, rape and aggravated rape. The crimes are believed to have been committed between 2005 and 2006.

Prosecutor Lena Lithner described how the 47-year-old in July 2005 abducted a woman from a highway service station in the municipality of Varberg, first taking her to a barn and later to the abandoned house near Halmstad, in southern Sweden.

There, she was allegedly handcuffed and strung up with chains. The man then repeatedly whipped her and subjected her to aggravated sexually abuse. He then left her alone, naked and tied up for hours.

But according to the 47-year-old, the woman had agreed to the exploits.

“He says that they had agreed and that they knew each other before this took place,” defence lawyer Leif Silbersky told local paper Göteborgsposten.

The rape charge involves another woman who the man had a sexual relationship with in late 2006.

At first the sex was consensual but when the man became increasingly violent the woman asked him to stop. According to the charges he then pushed her down on the bed, pulled her hair and forced himself on her.

The prosecutor has called a number of witnesses to testify at the trial, which will commence on June 13th and is scheduled to continue over three consecutive days.

The man, who was remanded into custody in April, denies all charges.

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