A 44-year old Norwegian truck driver was formally charged this week with sexually abusing 17 minor boys, many in the back of his own vehicle in assaults that occurred all over the country. Some of the cases carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail, reported Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).
A police investigation was launched after one of the boys reported the man for sexual assault, which led to a search and seizure of various types of evidence. Contact between the defendant and the boys was allegedly established through social media, where the boys were tricked into sending messages and photos with sexual content, reported NRK. “In many of these cases, the accused pretended to be a young girl,” police attorney, Anne Cecilie Dessarud, earlier told newspaper Dagbladet.
The man denies doing anything illegal. He has, through his lawyer, earlier admitted to sexual relations with some of the boys, but claimed they were over the minimum age of 16 at the time, which is the age of sexual consent in Norway. He has said the pictures he received were partly sent to him at the boys’ own initiative.
The defendant has a record of prior convictions, including possession of child porn in 2003. Two years later he was sentenced to eight months in prison for abusing a 14-year-old in Sweden.
His trial is expected to start on February 24 in Gudbrandsdalen, where the accused and many of his victims reside.