A Swedish man from the central Uppland region has been arrested on charges of raping a minor and exploiting at least 70 underage girls using the Internet. The police have described the sting as the biggest of its kind to date in Sweden.
The suspect is in his 30s, and is believed to have coerced dozens of young girls to strip and perform sexual acts in front of an Internet web camera. The man used threats to scare the girls, most of whom were under the age of 15, into stripping for the camera, according to the Uppsala Nya Tidning newspaper.
“The investigation has grown exponentially. I do not know of any other case with this scope,” prosecutor Thomas Balter Nordenman said to the newspaper. An investigation was launched last autumn when a 14 year-old girl reported she had been raped by the suspect. She also confirmed that he had first made her strip online using a web cam.
After tracing the man’s IP address, he was arrested. Police were able to recover 1,500 online chat conversations with various girls from his computer. Many tips from the public helped police track down the identification of such a large number of the girls.
Nordenman hopes to have the suspect charged before May for a range of sexual crimes such as raping a child, sexual coercion and aggravated sexual exploitation of children. “I am going to seek a long custodial sentence,” the prosecutor commented.