Parents appeal lengthy sentences for assaulting their own children

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A judge in Hedmark County who’s been overseeing what’s been dubbed as Norway’s worst-ever case of sexual abuse against children sentenced all five defendants to relatively long prison terms by Norwegian standards on Friday. Four of the five filed immediate appeals.

The main defendants, the 46-year-old mother of two of the victims and her 64-year-old live-in companion, were sentenced to 11 and 12 years respectively of forvaring, a form of custody that in practice can be extended repeatedly and result in prison for life. Prosecutors had asked for 13 and 14 years of forvaring.

The judge in the case ruled that neither the mother nor her now-estranged partner showed signs of remorse during their trial. In addition to assaulting her children herself, over a period of several years, she allowed her partner to assault them as well. “She has herself testified that she thinks he is a pedofile, yet she let him live in her house and let him conduct serious assaults,” wrote the judge.

A neighbor couple was sentenced to four years in prison for also allowing the other couple to assault their children, apparently in return for hash. They also filmed and photographed many of the assaults, as did the 64-year-old main defendant. A fifth defendant, another neighbor in the small town of Alvdal, was sentenced to one year and nine months in prison for participating in the assaults.

The judge ruled that the 64-year-old, meanwhile, had a history of assaults of children and didn’t seem affected by an earlier conviction. All five defendants were also ordered to pay varying levels of compensation to the children, from NOK 50,000 to 200,000 (USD 8,000 to 35,000).

All four children, who are now teenagers, have since been placed in foster homes or are under special care.

Views and News staff