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crime & community

Swedish Outrage as Girl Raped, Shunned

Published fredag 26 mars 2010 kl 14.22
The end-of-year school celebration where the convicted rapist was applauded

Last year, when "Linnea" was just 14 years old, she was raped by a 15-year-old boy in a bathroom where they both went to school. The boy was convicted of rape in both district court and a court of appeals, and was forced to switch schools.

But as television show Uppdrag Granskning reported on Wednesday, Linnea was the one who suffered through an extreme rumor campaign, full of coarse insults, threats, and blame. Her classmates in the town of Bjästa took to the Internet to start a Facebook group in support of the boy, called Oscar, which swelled to over 4,000 members. This in a town with just 2,000 inhabitants.

The part of the story that has aroused the most outrage is the tacit and sometimes vocal support given to the boy by adults in the community. At the end of the school year, a priest invited Oscar to the school’s end-of-year engagement in the town church, despite the fact that he had switched schools. The boy, who was very popular among his schoolmates, went into the room and began giving out flowers to his former teachers and friends, and received applause from adults and schoolchildren alike.

Later that night, he raped another girl.

Click on the link above to listen to how Linnea's story touched the nation.

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