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.”
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.