Swedish execs cleared of New York sex crimes

Charges against the two Swedes suspected of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman in a New York hotel room have been dismissed.

Swedish execs cleared of New York sex crimes

“After conducting a thorough investigation that included but was not limited to interviewing relevant witnesses, viewing surveillance video and other hotel records and speaking extensively with the complainant we have concluded that we cannot prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt,” assistant district attorney David Smith, of the Manhattan district attorney’s office, said to the Betabeat newspaper.

Niklas Adalberth, 30, and Jens Saltin, 31 faced charges of allegedly attacking a 19-year-old woman from Texas at the W Hotel in Manhattan.

The men are both high-ranking executives at the Klarna e-commerce start-up.

Adalberth is the company’s co-founder, while Saltin works as Klarna’s Vice President of Sales in the Netherlands.

Defense attorney Andrea Zellan, who represented one of the Swedes, was delighted with the outcome.

“We have maintained from the outset that this case was based on a single, false and entirely baseless allegation that was not corroborated by any forensic, scientific, video or other witness testimony,” she said to Betabeat.

Adalberth and Saltin are now planning to return to their work at Klarna, the company wrote in a statement to Betabeat.

“Our employees did nothing wrong, did not break any law and should thus never have ended up in this very unfortunate situation. We now leave this incident behind us and welcome back our employees to their central roles within the company.”

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French official charged for drugging women to watch them pee

A senior official in France's culture ministry has been charged with sexual assault and drugs offences for drugging women with diuretics to make them urinate in front of him, judicial sources said Friday.

French official charged for drugging women to watch them pee
France's Culture Ministry is housed in the Palais Royal in Paris. Photo: Guilhem Vellut/Wikimedia Commons
Christian N., former human resources director in the culture ministry, is accused of preying on over 200 women, mostly job candidates, between 2009 and 2018, Liberation newspaper reported.
A judicial source confirmed to AFP that he had been charged with sexual assault by a person abusing his position of authority, violent conduct by a public servant, administering a harmful substance, violation of privacy and breaching France's drug code.
In a lengthy report on the affair, which has caused embarrassment for the culture ministry, Liberation quoted five women who described how, during a job interview, Christian N. offered them a cup or tea or coffee and then invited them on a long walking tour of sights near the culture ministry in Paris.
During the walkabout they become seized with a sudden, crippling desire to urinate, whereupon the man took them to the banks of the Seine river and offered to shield them from view with his coat while they relieved themselves under a bridge.
One of the women told Liberation she spent four days in hospital with a urinary tract infection after the encounter.    
A police investigation revealed that the official had spiked the women's drinks with a powerful diuretic.
Christian N. is also accused of secretly snapping pictures of women's legs under the desk using his mobile phone.
After catching him in the act the ministry reported him to the police, which found a list on his computer of over 200 women he had targeted, along with photographs and lurid descriptions of women urinating in front of him.
He was suspended in October 2018 and fired three months later.
Contacted by Liberation he admitted to drugging “10 or 20” women and said he “wished I had been stopped earlier”.
 'A real pervert'
Reacting to the case on Europe 1 radio, Culture Minister Franck Riester, who has been in the post since October 2018, said he was “floored” by what he called the “crazy case of a pervert”.
The culture ministry said it had begun disciplinary proceedings as soon as it was informed of the official's alleged actions.
But one of his accusers, who worked at the culture ministry, claimed she had been warned about him years before he was sacked.
Liberation also reported that another alleged victim had written to two former culture ministers, both women, to complain about the man's behaviour, but received no reply.