Convictions overturned in Malmö pimping trial

The court of appeal in Malmö (Hovrätten) has overturned guilty verdicts served to two men in connection with the sale of a mentally handicapped 14-year-old girl for sex, reducing a third man's sentence for pimping.

Both the men convicted of raping the teenager have been freed by the court. The 18-year-old man believed to be the ringleader of the teen pimping scandal had his sentence for aggravated pimping reduced from one year to three months in prison.

The court furthermore reduced the fine imposed on a 17-year-old for purchasing sexual services, although his conviction was upheld.

The appeals court ruling means that the 14-year-old girl will not receive any damages, as the treatment to which she was subjected as a result of the 18-year-old’s pimping activities was not deemed to be a sufficient invasion of her integrity.

The court was however not unanimous in its ruling with two lay judges registering their dissension, although for other crimes of which some of the men stood accused and not for those involving the 14-year-old.

A total of ten men were originally charged in the case, which related to how the 14-year-old girl, who had been diagnosed with learning difficulties, was in March drugged with alcohol and narcotics and then abused sexually by several men.

The district court found four of the mend guilty in ruling from November 2010.

The case carried additional significance because it represented the first time prosecutors in Sweden unsuccessfully attempted to classify pimping crimes as human trafficking, as the girl had been taken to several locations where she was taken advantage of sexually.

The start of the trial was also delayed after threats were made to the judge originally assigned to preside over the hearings.

Four of the men originally charged in the case were freed of all charges.

Aside from the three men involved in the appeals court case, a 27-year-old man was found by the district court to be guilty of aggravated fraud and sentenced to one year in prison.