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Cop avoids sacking for 'sexting' teen girl

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Cop avoids sacking for 'sexting' teen girl
11:30 CEST+02:00
A Swedish policeman in therapy for compulsive sexual behaviour has escaped with a warning after sending sex-themed text messages to a 17-year-old girl who had been a witness in a case he had investigated.

Despite calls from his colleagues for his dismissal, Sweden's National Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen) has ruled his offences aren't serious enough to warrant relieving him of his duties.

The police officer, who works in Södermanland County in eastern Sweden, contacted the 17-year-old on his work phone following a case in which she was a witness. He then discussed the possibility of starting a sexual relationship with her.

However, the officer chose to cut the romance short after realizing it was "a mistake".

According to the ruling from Police Board, the sexting was "extremely inappropriate" due both to the girl's young age and her status as a former witness.

The incident was not, however, considered harassment because both the officer and the teen willingly took part.

This was not the first time the policeman engaged in questionable behaviour in relation to his work. He also had a relationship with the 17-year-old's mother only a short time after the case was closed. He stated that he could not see anything wrong with the affair, as he met the mother by chance and it was unrelated to his work.

He was also charged with unauthorized accessing of personal information for looking up a 16-year-old girl in the passport registry after reportedly having met her on one occasion. He explained that he felt like something was "not right" about her and that he wanted to make sure everything was in order.

Police authorities in Södermanland made clear in their own report that they had lost confidence in the officer and that they wanted to let him go.

Taking into consideration, however, that the sexting was consensual; that the relationship with the mother had ended; and the officer had already been charged with for the data breach, the National Police Board could not issue more than a warning.

The officer is currently undergoing counseling to treat "problematic sexual behaviour of a compulsive nature", according to the Police Board ruling.

TT/The Local/sh

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