Rape accusations stun Swedish high school

Rape accusations stun Swedish high school
An employee at a high school near Uppsala, in eastern Sweden, has been detained by police on suspicion of rape and the sexual harassment of some of his students.

“We view this as extremely serious and have brought in extra resources to support students, parents and staff that are affected,” said Håkan Bertilsson, head of the education department of Håbo municipality, to Sveriges Radio (SR).

According to SR, the man has been employed at the school for many years.

Now he has been remanded into custody by police on suspicion of several cases of rape, sexual coercion, and harassment.

The rapes are said to have taken place on several occasions over the course of almost two years, and a source closely connected to the investigation revealed to SR that the case involves several students at the school.

The man has been detained by police since January and the matter has been treated with utmost confidentiality due to the sensitive nature of the case.

Neither police nor prosecutors wanted to divulge the ages or the number of the victims, but prosecutor Annika Bokefors on Thursday filed for the man to remain in custody pending the ongoing investigation.

According to municipal education officials, there had been no earlier indications that any sexual abuse had been taking place at the school.

“It was like a bolt from the blue,” said Bertilsson to SR.

The man, who denies all allegations, has been suspended from his job since November 2011, shortly after the suspicions became known.

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