Two brothers in northern Sweden in their mid-thirties have been convicted of sexually abusing five children between the ages of three and 14 over 1,000 times — and the harshest sentence they got was 14 years in prison.
The victims were apparently children who had been bullied in school or whose lives at home were difficult; the brothers plied them with drugs, alcohol and money, as testimony was given in Ångermanland District Court.
The older brother was convicted of more than 580 cases of aggravated child rape and at least 500 cases of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, The Local reported. The younger brother was found guilty of at least 500 child rapes and more than 50 cases of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor.
In Sweden, child rape is defined as sexual intercourse or equivalent acts with a person younger than 15. That definition was codified April 1, 2005. Thus, acts committed before that are described as sexual exploitation of minors. Sweden also treats each case of sexual violence as a separate incident, whether or not the victim is the same person.
The verdict stated the brothers committed their crimes between 2001 and 2009 in Trelleborg, southern Sweden, and Sollefteå in northern Sweden.
The police investigation into the monstrous acts found over 250 hours of video footage and more than 5,000 indecent images of children in their home; some of the video and photos were of the rape victims.
The Local writes:
The brothers often played video games and roleplay games together with the children, alternating the games with sexual acts. The abuse became “normalized”, the court wrote in the verdict. If a child was hesitant, the older brother in some cases is said to have offered them cannabis, alcohol and money. One of the victims said he saw the older man as a role model and “hero.” He did not want to lose him as a friend and “felt bad” to say no to sex. Another, who was bullied in school and had problems at home, said he thought of his time with the brothers as “a safe haven.”
On Friday, the older brother was sentenced to 14 years in jail; the younger brother, 12 years. The lighter sentence for the younger brother was based in part on the fact that he was younger than 21 when he committed the crimes. The brothers were ordered to pay $350,000 to the victims.