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ASSAULT

Seven convicted in brutal gang rape case

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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ASSAULT

Swedish NBA star won’t play amid assault probe

Swedish-American Jeffery Taylor of the Charlotte Hornets will not be involved in team activities as the basketball association and police probe the domestic assault charge against him.

Swedish NBA star won't play amid assault probe
Jeffery Taylor in action for Sweden against Russia in 2013. AP Photo

The team, in a statement Friday, did not characterize its action as a suspension, and indicated Taylor agreed to the measure.

"As an organization, we understand and appreciate the seriousness of this matter, and will assist the NBA and law enforcement in any way we can until this comes to an acceptable resolution," the Hornets said.

"We have spoken with Jeffery and his representatives and they fully understand our position."

Taylor was arrested and charged on Thursday in East Lansing, Michigan, just the latest unsavory incident to tarnish the reputation of US sports.

The 25-year-old was arraigned and has been formally charged with one count of domestic assault, one count of assault and one count of malicious destruction of property, a police statement said.

Authorities did not outline the circumstances of the case, saying only that police were called after a report of domestic assault at an East Lansing hotel at around 1:00 am on Thursday.
 

Taylor, a 25-year-old measuring 201 centimetres, was born in Norrköping in eastern Sweden. He is about to enter his third season in the NBA. He holds dual Swedish and American citizenship

He missed most of last season after rupturing his right Achilles tendon in December.

His arrest came just days after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league was reviewing its policies on domestic violence in light of the public relations crisis the NFL is facing over its handling of several such cases involving high-profile players.

That included the NFL's clumsy handling of Ravens running back Ray Rice, who knocked his future wife unconscious in a casino elevator in February.

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