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02 March 2024

Court acquits Serb trio in teen sex-slave case


A Swedish court on Monday acquitted two Serbian parents accused of trafficking a 14-year-old girl to Sweden from Belgrade to be a sex slave for their mentally-handicapped 26-year-old son.

The Gothenburg district court said it could not be proved that the girl was brought to Sweden for those purposes and acquitted the parents, aged 45 and 49.

The prosecutor in the case, Thomas Ahlstrand, had argued that the family believed their son's condition would improve if he had a wife and a child, so they bought the girl for him from her father in the Serbian capital, paying 1,000 euros (ê1,360).

Ahlstrand claimed the girl was then held captive by the family in an apartment from October 2010 until November 2011, when police received an anonymous tip about a girl being held against her will.

He also said she suffered a miscarriage during her ordeal.

The prosecutor's case was based mainly on the girl's statements to police.

"During the trial in the district court she changed her statements compared to what she had told police. She also changed her statements from one day to the next during the trial," a statement from the court said.

"It is therefore unclear which of her statements are erroneous or exaggerated," it said.

The son was also acquitted of charges of raping a minor, while the mother was acquitted of charges of physically abusing and threatening the girl as well as rape or accessory to rape.

The parents and the son had denied all charges.