STOCKHOLM — A Swedish court on Tuesday convicted 23 women of possessing child pornography in a case that has drawn widespread attention because child pornography perpetrators are usually men.
The Falun district court in central Sweden handed the women, who are aged between 38 and 70, suspended sentences and ordered them to pay fines ranging from 2,500 kronor to 18,000 kronor ($375 to $2,691, 273 to 1,965 euros).
The ringleader in the case was however a man, 43-year-old Lars Skoglund, who who distributed large quantities of pornographic material featuring children to the women.
He was convicted of aggravated child pornography and sentenced to one year in prison.
Skoglund came in contact with the women in Internet chat rooms and gradually convinced them to accept files containing child pornography.
When he was arrested in September 2010, he was in possession of 1,181 still shots and 40 films considered child pornography.
According to the court, the photographs and films depict children being raped by adults, in some cases with the children tied up.
The court found that "most of the women were psychologically unstable," and Skoglund had "taken advantage of the women's poor psychological states and longing for human contact."
The women all told the court they were not interested in child pornography.
"If Lars Skoglund had not led their conversations onto the subject of child sex, most of these women would probably never have come into contact with child pornography," the court found.
Nonetheless, the court said the women were responsible for their actions. The prosecutor had proven that the images had been sent to the women and the chats and emails proved that the women had wanted the images, it said.
Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved. More »