• Sweden's news in English
Bunker plot trial
Swedish doctor on trial for raping woman kept in bunker
A drawing of the suspect (left) and his lawyer in court. Image: Ingela Landström/TT

Swedish doctor on trial for raping woman kept in bunker

TT/AFP/The Local · 25 Jan 2016, 17:52

Published: 25 Jan 2016 07:28 GMT+01:00
Updated: 25 Jan 2016 17:52 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Described in the media as "Sweden's Fritzl" – a reference to the Austrian father who held his daughter captive and raped her repeatedly over 24 years – the 38-year-old physician risks life in prison if found guilty of kidnapping and aggravated rape.

Wearing a blue fleece jacket and looking unfazed, he sat as a chilling account of the alleged crimes was presented to the Stockholm court.

His young victim was however visibly shaken, sobbing, and appeared with her hands covered by black gloves and her head hidden under a scarf. Not details about her age or identity have been disclosed.

"She's not well. It's very difficult for her to face him," her lawyer Jens Högström told the court.

The defence argued that the accused, whose name has not been published in Swedish media, was a "broken soul" and a lonely man with few friends.

"He desperately wanted a girlfriend," defence attorney Mari Schaub said, stressing that her client was remorseful.

He has admitted to keeping her against her will, but not to kidnapping or raping her.

"He was suffering from a psychological disorder," Schaub said.

READ ALSO: Sweden's bunker trial – what we know so far

In earlier police interviews with officers the suspect said that "girlfriend might be the best term" for the woman, although he admitted she was "not a girlfriend in the ordinary sense, even I can understand that".

However the woman he locked up told police she feared she could be tortured or killed and her defence team believe that it was the man's plan to keep her locked up for years.

The rest of the trial was heard behind closed doors at the prosecution's request, and it proceeded to outline the defendant's planning and execution of the alleged crimes.

Prosecutor Peter Claeson speaking to media. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

According to the charge sheet, the man passed himself off as an American when he met the woman for the first time on September 10th at her Stockholm apartment, after having made initial contact online.

Two days later, he returned to her place with champagne, strawberries and fruit juice laced with sedatives. Once she was unconscious he is said to have raped her, then rolled her in a wheelchair to his car which had fake licence plates.

Story continues below…

He then drove 550 kilometres from Stockholm to his country home near Kristianstad in southern Sweden.

He is then accused of having locked the woman into what the prosecution described as an above-ground "bunker" he had built in his yard, which resembled a garden shed from the outside. There he took blood and vaginal samples from his victim to make sure she was not carrying any sexually transmitted diseases.

Detectives first became aware of the man's unusual plot in September 2015, after he presented himself at a police station along with the woman, but he was not formally charged until earlier this month.

Meanwhile police have revealed that they are also continuing to investigate the possibility that the man was planning to abduct further victims. 

The doctor is being tried by a judge; juries are not used in Sweden. The trial continues.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Swedish PM visits Iraq for talks on Isis
Stefan Löfven (left) and Haider al-Abadi (right). Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Stefan Löfven will discuss the offensive on Mosul with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Illicit abattoir kept more than 100 bulls' penises
A couple of young bulls not related to the story. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Dried cattle genitalia, goats' heads and hundreds of litres of lard were just a few of the many strange finds discovered when police raided a property in Sweden.

This is officially Sweden's most beautiful beard
The most beautiful beard in Sweden. Photo: Memo Göcek

According to a jury of barbers and 'well known bearded profiles', that is.

Presented by Invest Stockholm
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm

You might think it’s hard to make friends in a new city. But if at first you don’t succeed – try something else!

Injured Swedish photographer protected by 'guardian angel'
Swedish photographer Paul Hansen on another occasion. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Photographer Paul Hansen thanked his lucky stars for surviving sniper fire while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

How Sweden is trying to smooth relations with Saudis
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven meeting Saudi Arabia's Trade Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has visited Saudi Arabia a year and a half after relations turned frosty in a major diplomatic row.

My Swedish Career
'Swedish people love it, but they find it quite odd'
Scottish entrepreneur William Macdonald. Photo: Michael Campanella

Meet the web developer and entrepreneur using traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing to break the ice with Swedes.

Swedish photographer shot near Mosul
Hansen was being operated on in the Iraqi city of Erbil on Sunday. Photo: Nora Lorek/ TT

Paul Hansen, a photographer working for Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, has sustained light injuries after being hit by what appears to be a sniper while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Sweden wants emission- free cars in EU by 2030
Photo: Jessica Gow/ TT

Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available