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CRIME

Swedish tourist held in Barcelona over alleged sex assaults

A Swedish man in his mid-20s is being held in Barcelona on suspicion of several sexual assaults, reports Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet.

Swedish tourist held in Barcelona over alleged sex assaults
File photo of a street in the Sants-Montjuïc area of Barcelona. Photo: Year of the Dragon/Wikimedia Commons

Spanish media report that the man was seized on Friday in the Sants-Montjuïc area of Barcelona when he targeted a woman who managed to scream for help. When other people arrived the man is said to have fled on foot, but two people ran after him, caught him and held him until police arrived.

The man, who lives in Sweden's western Götaland region, is understood to have been in Barcelona as a tourist and is now suspected of sexually assaulting four different women. He is said to have grabbed hold of them from behind, covered their mouths and touched them inappropriately, reports Aftonbladet.

Sweden's foreign ministry confirms that a Swedish man in his mid-20s is in custody in Spain.

“We are in contact with the embassy in Madrid. We have no more updates for now,” foreign ministry spokesperson Johanna Westlund told the TT news agency.

ALMEDALEN 2022

Attacker ‘severely disturbed’ during stabbing at Swedish political festival

Theodor Engström, the 33-year-old man who stabbed psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren to death at the Almedalen political festival in July, was seriously psychiatrically disturbed at the time of his attack, forensic psychiatrists have ruled.

Attacker 'severely disturbed' during stabbing at Swedish political festival

According to the Hela Gotland newspaper the Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine has ruled that the man was so disturbed at the time of his attack he had lost the ability to understand the consequences of his actions, and has as a result recommended that he be given psychiatric treatment rather than a prison term.

The agency said that Engström had still been disturbed at the time he was given psychiatric assessment, and warned that there was a risk that Engström would commit further criminal acts. 

“This is a question which has relevance at a future stage,” said prosecutor Henrik Olin. “It means he cannot be sentenced to jail, but will instead receive psychiatric care. But it is not going to change how the investigation is carried out.” 

READ ALSO: What do we know about the Almedalen knife attack?

Engström stabbed Wieselgren, who worked as psychiatric coordinator for the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, as she was on the way to take part on a discussion at the Almedalen political festival. She died in hospital later that day. 

Engström has admitted to carrying out the attack, telling police that he intended to make a protest against the state of psychiatric healthcare in Sweden. 

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