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Malmö preschool rocked by sex abuse claims

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12:45 CEST+02:00
A male employee at a preschool in southern Sweden previously held on remand following accusations that he sexually assaulted several children at the school was released on Wednesday, but suspicions against him remain.

The 30-year-old man has been held since in June after suspicions surfaced that at least three children, all aged between three and five, had been assaulted.

“We are in the middle of interrogating him so we don't know if there are other children, but we're doing a thorough job before the prosecutor comes to a decision [about filing formal charges],” said Kristina Meijer of the Skåne police to the TT news agency.

On Wednesday, however, a court of appeal overturned the remand order, allowing the man to walk free as the investigation continues, Sveriges Television (SVT) reported.

While the sex abuse suspicions remain, the court determined that the 32-year-old would not be able to sabotage the investigation and thus there was no compelling reason for him to remain in custody.

The man has worked at the private preschool in Malmö for three years and has been suspected before of sexual offences while working at another preschool in the area in 2005, wrote the Sydsvenskan newspaper.

The suspect has denied the allegations but is cooperating with investigators and answering all the police's questions, according to the man's defence lawyer Claes Kronström.

“This has been a terrible experience for him. He doesn't accept the accusations at all,” he told the newspaper, adding that he thinks it will be “difficult” for the man to return to work.

According to Kronström, the case is being handled with the strictest confidence.

“It's a delicate task to try and find out what happened. But the children are being interrogated by specially trained police staff whose daily work involves hearing young children,” he told the paper.

Parents at the school have been informed about the accusations and the ongoing police investigation.

TT/Salomon Rogberg

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