Swedish doctor on trial for keeping woman in bunker

STOCKHOLM -- A Swedish doctor went on trial on rape and kidnapping charges Monday after admitting to imprisoning a woman in a home-made bunker in what his defence lawyer said was a desperate attempt to find a girlfriend.

See Full Article

Prosecutors said the 38-year-old man had planned the crime for years and may have tried to capture other victims before sedating and abducting the woman during a date in Stockholm.

The victim, who is around 30, didn't suffer serious physical injuries during her weeklong abduction. But she was deeply traumatized by the ordeal and stressed about having to face him in court, said her lawyer, Jens Hogstrom.

"She's having a very hard time right now," Hogstrom told The Associated Press during a break in the proceedings. "She's got post-traumatic stress, flashbacks from what happened. She has nightmares."

The doctor, whose name wasn't published in Sweden in line with privacy rules, has confessed to almost everything in the indictment, but denies having raped the woman while she was unconscious.

In court documents obtained by the AP, he told investigators he abducted the woman on Sept. 12 in her Stockholm apartment during their second date. Pretending to be an American living in London, he gave her strawberries laced with a sedative and then drove 530 kilometres (330 miles) to his isolated countryside home in southern Sweden, giving her drugs intravenously during the journey to keep her unconscious.

The woman was terrified as she woke up in a soundproofed bunker that the doctor had spent years building inside a machine shed next to his house.

"I didn't know what would happen, whether he would torture me, kill me or rape me," she told investigators. "He just told me he would keep me there for a few years and then release me."

At one point she tried to attack him with a pair of screws she found in the bunker, but as she was still dazed from the drugs, he easily subdued her and warned her he would shackle her to the bed and feed her only bread if she tried it again, court documents show.

The defendant kept her in the bunker, except for brief occasions when he led her in handcuffs to his home. But on Sept. 18 he took her to a police station, allegedly to show police that she was fine and staying with him voluntarily. As soon as police took her aside for questioning, she "broke down" and told them everything, a police report shows.

"There is no simple explanation for this," defence lawyer Mari Schaub told reporters Monday. "This is a high-performing person who is unwell psychologically and has been longing for a life partner."

A psychiatric examination found he wasn't suffering from a severe mental illness. If convicted, he could face life in prison.

The victim is demanding 380,000 kronor ($44,000) in damages, which her lawyer said is high by Swedish standards. Damages are typically much higher in other countries, particularly the U.S.

Court documents show the defendant did his military service as a ranger in northern Sweden and studied medicine at Stockholm's prestigious Karolinska institute, which awards the Nobel Prize in medicine.

He worked as a doctor at several clinics in southern Sweden, said Bruno Malmlind, human resources manager of the local public health care administration.

"I'm shocked and surprised," Malmlind told AP. "He was appreciated by both patients and staff. There was no sign of any strange behaviour."

Prosecutor Peter Claesson told reporters that a parallel investigation was ongoing to find out whether the doctor had attempted to capture other women.

"That cannot be ruled out," Claesson said.

Police seized dozens of files from the defendant's computer with information on secret doors, locks and lists of construction material. One file labeled "Contract" listed "discounts" in years that "guests" could get by performing various sexual acts.

In transcripts of the police interrogations, the defendant said that he never intended to harm the woman. Except for the abduction, which he called a "little parenthesis," he said "I have treated her well, in my opinion."

Court officials are set to go to southern Sweden on Tuesday to inspect the defendant's home. Neither the defendant nor the victim is expected to take part.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Wedding ring lost 15 years ago returned

    World News Toronto Sun
    WHITE TOWNSHIP, N.J. — A Christmas tree farmer has found and returned a wedding ring a New Jersey man lost roughly 15 years ago. David Penner says his wedding band slipped off his finger during a visit to Wyckoff’s Tree Farm in White Township with his wife years ago. Source
  • B.C. boy with mysterious broken bones returned to parents

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    VANCOUVER — While watching their son and daughter play in a home near Vancouver’s children’s hospital, a couple from northern British Columbia received the news they had been praying for. The Ministry of Children and Family Development had seized their two children for the second time in October, because their five-year-old son kept suffering unexplained broken bones. Source
  • Boy, 14, killed trying to jump from NYC train to platform

    World News Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — Police say a 14-year-old boy has died while attempting to perform a dangerous stunt at a New York City subway station. The New York Police Department says the boy was riding between the cars of a southbound L train when he tried to jump onto the platform at the New Lots Avenue station in Brooklyn around 10:40 p.m. Source
  • Admitted Calgary killer testifies of assassination plan outside courthouse

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Purported gangsters planned to murder a rival gang member as he arrived at court to be sentenced for shooting his own rivals, court heard Wednesday. The Crown’s star witness in the murder conspiracy case, an admitted killer himself who has been granted immunity for his testimony, said he conducted taped conversations with all three accused. Source
  • Trump to meet with victims of Ohio State University attack

    World News Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — Donald Trump is going to try to show a more sensitive side Thursday, meeting with victims of last week’s Ohio State University attack, before taking his “thank you” road show to three more states that supported him in the election. Source
  • Dads beware: Men over 50 most at risk of Christmas-related injury

    Canada News CTV News
    The next time you see Dad hanging awkwardly off the roof trying to put up Christmas lights, don't believe him when he says "I've got this." That overconfidence puts him at higher risk of being injured in a fall this holiday season, according to the B.C. Source
  • Human rights group, worried about HIV, urges Philippines action

    World News CTV News
    MANILA, Philippines -- A human rights group says the Philippines is facing one of the fastest growing epidemics of HIV in the Asia Pacific, fueled by government policies that restrict intervention, including access to condoms by men who have sex with men. Source
  • Driver of deadly crash had history of accidents, seizures

    World News Toronto Sun
    BALTIMORE — The man who crashed a Baltimore school bus into a transit bus, killing himself and five other people, had been in at least a dozen car accidents in the past five years, had a history of seizures and other medical issues, and recently had his commercial driver’s license privileges suspended because of an outdated medical certificate, according to federal transportation investigators. Source
  • Accused pizza shop gunman says he regrets how he handled the situation

    World News Toronto Sun
    SALISBURY, N.C. — The man accused of firing an assault rifle inside a Washington restaurant said he regrets how he handled the situation but refused to completely dismiss the false online claims involving a child sex ring that brought him there. Source
  • Police arrest 18-year-old in baseball bat attack on Hamilton teen

    Canada News CBC News
    Hamilton police have arrested and charged an 18-year-old with aggravated assault and robbery in connection with the attack on Noah Rabbani, the 15-year-old who was brutally beaten while walking home from a friend's house late last month. Source