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'Sex chamber' trial opens behind closed doors

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'Sex chamber' trial opens behind closed doors
16:15 CEST+02:00
The trial began on Monday of a 47-year-old man suspected of having held a woman prisoner in an underground sex-chamber in western Sweden.

The man is alleged to have subjected his victim to a series of attacks in the cellar of an abandoned farmhouse north of Halmstad, western Sweden.

The woman, now in her thirties, came forward when the secret sex chamber was discovered by two amateur photographers earlier this spring.

The hidden underground lair was found to contain 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 court heard that the 47-year-old abducted the woman from a highway service station in the municipality of Varberg in 2005, first taking her to a barn and later to the abandoned house.

Once down in the cellar of the house the woman was allegedly handcuffed and chained.

The man then repeatedly whipped her and subjected her to aggravated sexual abuse. He then left her alone for hours, bound and naked.

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.

The 47-year-old has continually denied the charges. He admits to being in the cellar but insists that the sexual acts were consensual.

“He says that they had agreed and that they knew each other before this took place,” defence lawyer Leif Silbersky told local paper Göteborgs-Posten (GP).

Meanwhile, the rape charges refer to a separate case in 2006.

According to the victim the couple had voluntary sexual intercourse, but he became increasingly violent and refused to stop when she protested.

She said she agreed to testify when she realised that the man was "capable of murder," according to Hallandsposten.

The trial, which is held in private due to the sexual nature of the charges, is expected to take three days.

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