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Record cover was 'child porn' says Swedish court

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Record cover was 'child porn' says Swedish court
Generic file picture of a man at computer. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/SCANPIX
16:00 CEST+02:00
A Swedish paedophile has been jailed for storing a million indecent images, but avoids sentencing over an album cover by German rock legends Scorpions which the court found constituted child porn.

A Swedish court found a 53-year-old man guilty of storing one million indecent images of children on Friday, but freed him on two other counts, including owning a number of lifelike children's dolls as well as an album cover by German heavy metal band Scorpions.

The court locked him up for six years on serious child pornography charges and taking advantage of children for 'sexual posing'. He was ordered to pay close to 600,000 kronor ($68,116) in damages to 13 different girls involved in the case.

The man was arrested in Södertälje in central Sweden in March last year as part of a police crackdown on an international paedophile ring.

Suspected of being active since 2006 the police investigation found that the Swede was believed to have been a middleman between buyers and photographers in countries such as the Czech Republic and Kazakhstan, as well as ordering services himself.

A raid on his home found more than a million indecent images and videos stored on his computers.

Södertälje District Court also ruled on Friday that an image of a naked girl on the Scorpions' 1976 album 'Virgin Killer' found at the 53-year-old's home could be considered pornographic material but said it could not be proven this was the reason the man owned it.

“The court is of the opinion that he had the record for the sake of the music, but I say that you have to look at the whole picture and in the context it was found,” prosecutor Thomas Bälter Nordenman told the TT newswire on Friday.

Formed in Hannover in 1965, Scorpions are behind hits such as 'Wind of Change' and 'Rock You Like A Hurricane'.

Responding to whether fans of the German group should be worried, Nordenman told TT: “Purely theoretically you could be sentenced for [owning the album in question], but I don't think the risk is particularly great if it is part of a record collection.”

A total of 14 “specially made dolls with detailed sexual organs” in porcelain were also discovered at the man's home in a raid, according to the prosecutor.

But the court said that although they too could be considered child pornography the man could not be found guilty because the dolls had not been mentioned in the original charges.

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