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Cyberbully suspect denies child sex crimes

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Cyberbully suspect denies child sex crimes
10:39 CEST+02:00
The trial started on Wednesday of a 45-year-old man suspected of driving a 13-year-old girl to suicide by threatening to publish sex acts he allegedly made her perform online. He faces multiple child sex charges.

The man has been charged for a number of offences, including gross exploitation of children for sexual posing, aggravated sexual abuse, child rape, molestation, and several cases of attempted aggravated child exploitation for posing.

Prosecutor Pia Åsberg said the man's threats to publish images of the 13-year-old on the internet contributed directly to her taking her life by jumping in front of a train in Kumla, central Sweden, in March of this year.

Åsberg was not able, however, to charge the 45-year-old for the girl's death. The prosecution found it could not be proven that the man's threat was the only thing that led to her suicide, despite transcripts of chats between the suspect and the victim in which she mentioned she would kill herself if he published the images.Evidence in the case consists of erased Skype chats that have been reconstructed.

"The chats are very clear when it comes to how he drove her to it. He nagged, threatened to publish the pictures, to send them to her teacher, parents, and classmates," Åsberg told the TT news agency when charges were filed last month.

"She repeatedly begged him not to, otherwise she would kill herself."

The man denies having committed the crimes for which he is charged.

"He didn't carry out these acts. He says his computer was taken over remotely," defence lawyer Ingvar Backman told TT.

At the district court in Örebro on Wednesday, relatives were sitting behind a glass partition in the high security courtroom, TT reported. One woman burst into tears and held her face in her hands while the prosecutor recounted how the 13-year-old took her own life.

The 45-year-old suspect sat at a table on the right side of the chamber, dressed in a black shirt and black pants.

The 20 or so girls the man had contact with online are aged 11 to 14 and most refused to take off their clothes in front of a camera, despite the man's requests.However, two girls did pose sexually for the man. He sought contact with the girls with the online aliases "bealarsson97" and "fotbollsboll".

He is also suspected of raping a 14-year-old girl 15 times, although he has claimed he had a long-term relationship with the girl.

TT/The Local/dl

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