Earlier this year, former Swedish police chief Göran Lindberg was arrested on suspicion of raping several women and planning to rape a child. Lindberg, who was an expert on morality and ethics and traveled the country, and the world, lecturing on equality and human trafficking prevention, later saw allegations of sex trafficking, pimping, and paying for sex added to the indictments. The trafficking ring allegation was later dropped, but he was found guilty on 17 out of 23 charges, including aggravated rape, rape, pimping, and paying prostitutes for sex. Lindberg's illegal activities were first suspected during an investigation into a suspicious death in a Stolkholm suburb in July 2009. His name appeared in some incriminating files on a computer linked to the case and he was eventually arrested on January 25th, 2010, at a hotel in Northern Sweden, where he was believed to be grooming an underage girl for rape and sexual exploitation.
Actual pimping, several more rapes, and other sexual exploitation came to light about a month later. Sweden was rocked by the news as this man was one of their most trusted authorities on preventing just such atrocities. Sadism and violence, including shackling the women, appear to be part of many of Linberg's crimes according to witnesses. However, at the trial, he only pleaded guilty to purchasing sex.
As for the 14-year-old victim in the case, Lindberg swears when he met her online, she told him she was 18 or 19. She says she told him she was 16, a minor according to Swedish law. The 64-year-old Lindberg was arrested at his hotel as he prepared to meet her in person. He had a bag full of "sex toys," like handcuffs and other items well suited for sexual assault. The girl was shaken enough by the ordeal to request Lindberg be absent when she gave her testimony. He was later cleared of the charge relating to planned rape of a minor.
Two prostitutes claim that Lindberg engaged in purchase of sex while still serving as chief constable of Uppsala County and two members of the county police board are calling for a "truth commission" to investigate his entire term of service as constable from 1997 to 2006.
All over the world, even in "civilized" countries like Sweden, people in authority often use their power to exploit others, usually women and children. It makes it harder for victims to come forward and their perpetrators to be brought to justice. It is appalling that a man who was Sweden's face of justice for these types of crimes would be committing them right under our noses. At only six-and-half years in prison, Swedish officials may not have pushed for the outcome many would like or consider to be just, but at least Lindberg was investigated and brought to trial instead of swept under the rug.
Kudos to those who spoke up at risk to their own careers. Be vigilant, friends. Be honest. And do not stop reporting human trafficking until someone listens and does something about it. Let's keep the Lindbergs of the world on the other side of the handcuffs.