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CRIME

Swede convicted of online rape of children from US, Canada and Scotland

A Swedish court on Thursday sentenced a man to 10 years in jail for raping and sexually assaulting 27 children by forcing them to carry out sexual acts on themselves or others online.

Swede convicted of online rape of children from US, Canada and Scotland
Uppsala district court sentenced the man to 10 years in jail. Photo: Akvelina Smed/TT

In a first ruling of its kind that could toughen the definition of rape, the Uppsala district court found the 41-year-old man guilty of the online rape or sexual assault of the children, most under the age of 15, in Canada, the United States and Scotland.

Threatening them or their families in some cases, he forced them to carry out sexual acts which they either filmed or live streamed for him, the court said in a statement.

“Such behaviour is the same as if the perpetrator committed the sexual acts on the victims himself,” the court ruled.

“In some cases … the district court found that the violation which the sexual act entailed was so serious that the act is to be considered as rape or child rape.”

READ ALSO: Swede accused of sexually abusing children online in US, UK & Canada

It was the first time a Swedish court has found someone guilty of rape for forcing a person to commit sexual acts on another person.

“Online abuse has been tried in court before and the outcome has been (a conviction for) sexual assault,” judge Carin Westerlund told TT news agency.

“The difference now — that the man is convicted of rape — is because the actions are considered much more serious,” she added.

The man was found guilty of four counts of aggravated child rape, for cases where the children were forced to commit sex acts on dogs and where one child was forced to commit sex acts on a younger child.

“The younger child in this case has been raped and because the man is the one who pushed and instructed the older child to do it, he has been convicted as the perpetrator,” the court said.

In one case, the court found the man guilty of rape for forcing a girl to carry out sex acts on herself.

The man, who was ordered to pay damages to the victims, was also convicted of possessing child pornography as he had saved the films which he received.

He had confessed to a number of the crimes but rejected the rape charges.

CRIME

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

A man was shot to death in Kristianstad, Skåne, late on Thursday night. He is the 48th person to be shot dead in Sweden this year, meaning that the previous record for most fatal shootings in one year set in 2020 has now been broken.

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

“Unfortunately we can’t say more than that he’s in his twenties and we have no current suspects,” duty officer Mikael Lind told TT newswire.

According to police statistics, this most recent deadly shooting means that 48 people have been shot to death in 2022, meaning that Sweden has broken a new record for deadly shootings per year.

Earlier this week, Sweden’s police chief Anders Thornberg said that this number is likely to rise even higher before the end of the year.

“It looks like we’re going to break the record this year,” he told TT on Tuesday. “That means – if it continues at the same pace – around 60 deadly shootings.”

“If it ends up being such a large increase that would be very unusual,” said Manne Gerell, criminiologist at Malmö University.

“We saw a large increase between 2017 and 2018, and we could see the same now, as we’re on such low figures in Sweden. But it’s still worrying that it’s increasing by so much over such a short time period,” he said.

There also seems to be an upwards trend in the number of shootings overall during 2022. 273 shootings had occured by September 1st this year, compared with 344 for the whole of 2021 and 379 for the whole of 2020.

If shootings continue at this rate for the rest of 2022, it is likely that the total number for the year would be higher than 2021 and 2020. There are, however, fewer injuries.

“The majority of shootings cause no injuries, but this year, mortality has increased substantially,” Gerell explained. “There aren’t more people being shot, but when someone is shot, they’re more likely to die.”

Thursday’s shooting took place in Kristianstad, but it’s only partially true that deadly gun violence is becoming more common in smaller cities.

“It’s moved out somewhat to smaller cities, but we’re overexaggerating that effect,” Gerell said. “We’re forgetting that there have been shootings in other small cities in previous years.”

A report from the Crime Prevention Council (Brå) presented last spring showed that Sweden, when compared with 22 different countries in Europe, was the only one with an upwards trend for deadly shootings.

Temporary increases can be seen during some years in a few countries, but there were no countries which showed such a clear increase as Sweden has seen for multiple years in a row, according to Brå.

The Swedish upwards trend for deadly gun violence began in the beginning of the 2000s, but the trend took off in 2013 and has continued to increase since.

Eight of ten deadly shootings take place in criminal environments, the study showed. The Swedish increase has taken place in principle only among the 20-29 year old age group.

When police chief Anders Thornberg was asked how the trend can be broken, he said that new recruitments are one of the most important factors.

“The most important thing is to break recruitment, make sure we can listen encrypted and that we can get to the profits of crime in a better way,” he said.

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