Swedish youth pastor convicted of raping child

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Swedish youth pastor convicted of raping child
Uppsala cathedral. Photo: The Local

A pastor in the Church of Sweden diocese of Uppsala has been jailed after being convicted of raping a teenage member of his confirmation class.


The court sentenced the man, who has been employed as a youth pastor in the diocese, to two and a half years in prison for the rape of a child. According to the court ruling, the pastor had raped the 14-year-old confirmand on several occasions during the spring of 2014 .
The bishop of the diocese of Uppsala, Ragnar Persenius has responded to the verdict by saying that it is a serious matter when a pastor is incapable of setting boundaries and acting professionally.
"Regardless of whether the crime is classed as rape or sexual molestation, it is completely unacceptable for a pastor. We have zero tolerance for sexual abuse," said Persenius.
The priest had been employed in the diocese for a year and half and had a specific responsibility for confirmands. 
"It's tragic and many people have been harmed by this. Not only the victim, but also others who have invested their trust in the pastor."
In addition to the prison sentence the pastor will pay some 110,000 kronor ($14,200) in damages to the victim. According to the pastor's lawyer it is likely that the verdict will be appealed.


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