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Parents hit back over child abuse suspicions

A five year-old girl in Ludvika, in central Sweden, was picked up from her pre-school by police officers, and underwent a medical exam, all without her parents' knowledge.

The parents are now reporting the incident to the Ombudsman for Justice (Justitieombudsmannen – JO), wrote the local newspaper Dalarnas Tidningar.

Social services in Ludvika suspected the girl’s frequent bruises were a sure sign of abuse.

The parents were initially suspected of child abuse, but the prosecutor dropped the case.

“We haven’t received any apology,” said the girl’s father to Dalarnas Tidningar, adding that waiting for suspicions against him and his wife to be cleared was a ‘terrible time’.

According to the father, the child’s bruises are caused by a hereditary disease. He wants JO to investigate the social authorities, and the circumstances which led to the girl being picked up by policemen at her pre-school.

“I’m doing this mostly to highlight the way we were innocently exposed, and to avoid this happening to others,” said the man to the newspaper.

He reports feeling frustration that he wasn’t believed about the girl’s disease causing the bruising.

However, Ann-Sofie Andersson, in charge of the child and youth department at Ludvika municipality, points out to Dalarnas Tidningar that staff have a responsibility to report suspected child abuse to the police immediately.

“But we often try to get help from a teacher or some other employee who knows the child if it occurs during school hours,” she said.

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CHILD ABUSE

Swedish daycare worker jailed for child sex abuse

A Swedish court on Friday sentenced a male daycare (dagis) worker to six and a half years in prison for four cases of rape and 20 cases of sexual assault against toddlers aged one to three in his charge.

Swedish daycare worker jailed for child sex abuse
The assaults took place at eight of the daycares where the man worked from March 2014 until June 2015. Photo: Victor Lundberg / TT

The 40-year-old man, who worked at 40 different daycares in the southern municipality of Kristianstad as a temp agency employee, pleaded guilty to the charges, a statement from the Kristianstad district court said.

The assaults took place at eight of the daycares where he worked from March 2014 until June 2015.

“The man sexually abused several girls during diaper changes. The girls were between one and three years old. The 40-year-old, documented the abuses himself with his mobile phone camera,” the court said.

“The crimes are considered aggravated because of the way he carried them out, the fact that he abused his position as a child minder, and that he abused the trust he enjoyed,” it added.

“Crimes like these are very rare,” court spokesman Markus Nilsson told the AFP news agency.

The defendant also found guilty of one charge of abusive photography and one case of aggravated child pornography for documenting the abuses and saving the photographs on his computer.

The man, whose name was not disclosed, was caught in July when he sexually abused a young girl at a theme park where he was employed.

During police interrogation he came clean about the daycare assaults and rapes.

He risked a maximum sentence of seven-and-a-half years behind bars but was given a year less than the maximum because he had collaborated with the police investigation.

The court also ordered the man to pay damages totalling 1.6 million kronor ($188,000) to his victims.