Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland
Advertisement

Coach accused of assaulting boys dating back at least a decade

Share this article

Coach accused of assaulting boys dating back at least a decade
Blekinge District Court, where the trial will be held. Photo: Patric Söderström/TT
16:40 CEST+02:00
A sports coach in Sweden faces trial on 100 counts of alleged crimes against a dozen teenage boys, including taping their mouths shut and filming them.

The man, who is in his 40s, is charged with 55 counts of aggravated unlawful coercion dating back ten years, and 45 counts of aggravated assault of 12 teenage boys, several of whom are still underage.

He is accused of, among several other things, putting plastic bags over the victims' heads, taping their mouths and noses shut, making them undress and put his clothes on instead, tying them up and filming at least 37 of the alleged incidents, according to court documents seen by The Local.

The charge sheet states that some of the measures limited the victims' ability to breathe.

"I don't know if they fainted, but you can see in the films that they were heavily affected," prosecutor John Dagnevik told the TT news agency at a press conference on Tuesday.

The alleged incidents date between April 2007 and November last year. The statute of limitations has run out for other suspected cases dating further back in time, said the prosecutor.

The teens had wooden or metal clamps attached to their arms and nipples, which the man then hit or touched in order to inflict pain, said the prosecutor. Two of the boys were also beaten with a horsewhip, according to the charge sheet.

The man, who is not charged with any sexual abuse, is understood to have got to know the boys through his sport. He acted as mentor to some of them, coach to some of the others and helped get sponsorships for some of the teenagers.

The alleged assaults are said to have taken place in the man's home in Ronneby municipality, his previous hometown in the Skåne region and in other venues in several locations, including hotel rooms, in Sweden.

He was first arrested in late January on suspicion of 28 cases of assault and coercion against five youths in the Blekinge region. The investigation then grew after the story grabbed headlines in Sweden and more people got in touch to say that they too had been victims.

The man himself has denied committing any criminal offences. He has insisted in police interviews that the exercises were consensual and designed to improve the boys' performance in their sport.

"The overall purpose is the same as everything else he did with the plaintiffs. And that is that they would achieve success in their sport," his lawyer Nils Fagrenius told TT, adding that the exercises were filmed in order to be able to review how successful they were and compare the various exercises afterwards.

The trial is expected to start in around two weeks at Blekinge District Court.

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

Advertisement

From our sponsors

Meet the Italian music entrepreneur who went from being hired to hiring in Sweden

In 2007, guitar-maker Michele Benincaso found himself in the first generation of music tech entrepreneurs moving to Stockholm. Now he's at the helm of the award-winning startup company, MIND Music Labs, and hiring music tech talent from all over the world just four years after launching.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement