Seccond abuse case in Tysfjord complex before court
Thursday starts the second trial after the disclosure of abuse cases in Tysfjord municipality. A man in his fifties has to appear in the dock.
– During a period stretching from September 12, 2008 to November 2, 2011, the defendant supposedly has taken advantage of the mental health impairment of the victim to obtain sexual intercourse with her. This has happened on several occasions in a small hamlet in Tysfjord, says police adviser in Nordland police district, Siv Remen, to NTB.
The case starts in Ofoten District Court in Narvik on Thursday. It has been set aside six days for the case, but it is not unlikely that it can be completed by Wednesday next week, if there are no delays.
Added to the case complex
Siv Remen and colleague Øyvind Rengård are the two police lawyers who work on all the Tysfjord cases together with investigators in the police in Nordland. Remen has previously admitted that the investigation of the case appearing in court on Thursday has taken a terribly long time, but believes this is due to a number of circumstances.
– This case was already known to the police when VG reported it in 2016. The indictment was ready and the case was then incorporated into the Tysfjord complex, says Siv Remen.
The accused man in his mid-fifties denies culpability and states he has never had anything to do with the insulted, says his lawyer, Alf Martin Solvin, to NRK. He has been very critical of the time spenditure by the police.
– My client’s case first appeared seven or eight years ago in the aid system of the municipality. Being an old case like this is of importance to the proof and makes it harder to prove that what is alleged, says Solvin.
The extensive case complex was disclosed after eleven men and women in June 2016 told VG that they had been subject to sexual assault in the Tysfjord municipality.
The police in Nordland presented their conclusions in November after working on the case for almost a decade. 82 insulted and 92 suspects were registered in what is by far the most extensive abuse case in Norwegian history. The oldest case is from 1953, while the newest is from August last year.
151 of the 161 cases concerns sexual abuse. 43 of the cases are rape cases and 40 deals with sexual intercourse with children under 14 years of age. The youngest child was not older than four years old when the abuse supposedly started. 106 cases have been dropped because they happened to long time ago.
No new indictments
The first of what will be a number of cases that conducted in the judicial system was held in the Salten District Court in December. Then a man in his forties from Tysfjord was sentenced to five and a half years in prison for sexual assault against five women. The man had pretended to be a shaman and advertised that he could chase away evil spirits. He has denied any culpability.
– The verdict is partially appealed by us and also by the prosecution. We have appealed against the conviction regarding four accounts of the indictment. The prosecution has appealed one account, his defender Tarjei Ræder Breivoll announces to NTB.
There are currently only indictments in these two cases, in addition to old cases stemming from before the VG article from the summer of 2016. The old cases are either dismissed or settled in the courts long since.
– It is not taken out additional indictments yet, but we continue to work on the cases. – We have said that we have reason to believe that there will be more indictments, but nothing about the number. We are not in a position where we can provide any further information at this time, says police adviser Øyvind Rengård.
Facts about the Tysfjord cases
Facts about the police investigation of the abuse cases in Tysfjord municipality.
- Police in Nordland started investigation after eleven men and women stepped forward and told VG that they had been subject to sexual abuse in the community. This happened in June, 2016.
- There are yet brought charges against two men as of now.
- In the first case, a 49-year-old man before Christmas was convicted of imprisonment for five and a half years for abuse against five women in Salten District Court. Both the accused and prosecutor have appealed the verdict.
- The second case starts in Ofoten District Court on Thursday. In this case a 50-year-old man is charged with exploiting a woman’s retardation to acquire sexual intercourse.
- The police filed their report on the investigation on November 28, 2017. Of a total of 161 criminal cases, 151 deal with sexual abuse. The oldest case is from 1953, the latest from August 2017. There are 82 insults and 92 suspects.
- 106 cases have been dropped because of obsolescence.
- 43 cases are rape cases – most involve gross sexual abuse against children and adults.
- 40 cases deal with sexual intercourse with children under the age of 14 – also in these cases there is talk of gross sexual abuse which, according to today’s legislation, is considered rape.
- Nearly 70 percent of the insulted and suspects are Lule Samí (Lapps). Many of the people involved are affiliated with the Læstadian (strict protestant) church.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today