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Seven convicted in brutal gang rape case

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16:27 CEST+02:00
Seven of the eight men charged with the aggravated rape of a woman at a housing facility for asylum seekers in Småland, southeastern Sweden, last year were convicted and sentenced to prison on Wednesday in the Eksjö District Court.

“I was hoping I’d pass out, that it would be over and that someone would enter the room,” said the woman, according to daily Aftonbladet.

The woman, a 29-year-old mother of two, had been having a good time at a party, which was held in early December 2011 in a flat inhabited by asylum seekers and part of a Migration Board (Migrationsverket) housing complex.

However, quite out of the blue, the seven men forced the woman into a bedroom, tore off her clothes, held down on a bed and proceeded to take turns raping her.

”I didn’t understand anything. I thought at first that they were joking. Everyone had been so nice before, and then suddenly it happened,” said the woman, according to Aftonbladet.

The men restrained her by holding her hips, arms and shoulders against the bed, and covered her mouth to prevent her from screaming.

She tried to get free by kicking her legs, thrashing with her body, and banging her head against the wall, but to no avail.

According to the woman, none of the perpetrators tried to stop the others from raping her once they had got started.

“They were clapping their hands and laughing and not one said no at any time,” she said during interrogation, according to the paper.

When the 25-year-old man who had initially brought the woman to the party returned to the flat after a few hours, the woman hoped he would save her, but instead he joined in with the others.

It wasn’t until some of the men had left and others fallen asleep that the woman managed to alert the police herself, after crouching behind a rubbish bin.

All seven men denied the allegations but the court found the body of evidence against them to be convincing. Two of the men admitted having had sex with the woman but claimed that it was consensual.

However, the court found the woman’s version of events to be credible and where she was unable to provide details there was other evidence to support her story.

The forensic investigation unearthed DNA traces both on the woman’s body and in the room where the rape took place.

One of the eight charged men were acquitted of the charges but the remaining seven received long prison sentences.

Four of the men were sentenced to six years in prison, two to six years and six months and another, below 21 years of age when the crime was committed, to 4 years and six months.

Prosecutors labelled the incident as a planned attack. All seven were therefore convicted of aggravated rape as they carried out the attack together.

Six of the convicted men are Afghan citizens and will be deported from Sweden and not allowed back for at least fifteen years after they have served their sentence.

The 29-year-old woman will also receive 300,000 kronor ($44,226) in compensation.

The Local/rm

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