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CRIME

Exorcism priest had sex with daughter

An Orthodox Christian priest in the Stockholm region has been sentenced to jail after being convicted of having sex with his mentally disabled daughter.

The priest was found by Södertörn District Court to have bound, beaten and had sex with the girl.

All details pertaining to the victim are subject to confidentiality, but prosecutor Johanna Lindgren confirmed that she was over 15, the age of majority, at the time the priest had sex with her.

During the trial it emerged that the 69-year-old priest believed his daughter to be possessed by the devil. His acts of violence against her were a means of driving evil spirits from her body, the court heard.

The priest believed that there were three possible ways to exorcise the devil and “cure” his daughter. These involved prayer, bringing her body into contact with a crucifix, and blessing her with holy water, newspaper Mitt i Södertörn reports.

When none of these methods produced the desired results, the priest grew ever more violent.

In October, a passer-by contacted the police after finding the girl bruised and battered in a playground near her home. The witness heard that she had been tied up by her father and lashed with a belt.

When questioned by police, the girl said that her father had also forced her into sex as a means of driving Satan from her body.

The priest admitted to tying his daughter up to prevent her from breaking things and injuring others, but he denied having sex with the girl.

The court however found there to be compelling evidence to back up the girl’s claims and sentenced the priest to one year and three months in jail. The prison term would have been longer had not the priest also lost his job, the court said.

He was also ordered to pay his daughter 127,000 kronor in damages.

“I am pleased with the verdict itself but I would like to have seen a longer sentence,” prosecutor Johanna Lindgren told The Local.

The court found the priest guilty of assault, false imprisonment and incest.

The prosecutor said that both she and the counsel for the defence had lodged appeals.

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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