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    Two policemen stand outside a mosque in Uppsala, Sweden

    Migrant Who Assaulted 11 Swedish Women Gets Off With Fines, Probation - Reports

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    The 23-year-old man attacked nearly a dozen women in the city of Uppsala between January and February, wearing a surgical mask as a disguise, with many of the women reporting that the encounters left them feeling vulnerable and afraid to walk the streets alone.

    Said Rendi, an Iranian national who sexually assaulted 11 women in a series of attacks this past winter, has received a suspended sentence, 60 hours of community service, and been requested to pay fines to the victims, with the court rejecting the prosecutor's request to deport him, Nyheter Idag has reported.

    Rendi is said to have carried out the attacks between January 28 and February 11, with the assaults ranging from grabbing women by their buttocks or genitalia, to two incidents which Prosecutor Pontus Melander said should have been classified as attempted rape. 

    The man committed the crimes while using a car which belonged to the Uppsala municipal government, which he was provided to take care of a young autistic boy, who was with Rendi when he was arrested. The car was fitted with a GPS tracker, which police were able to use to link Rendi to all 11 assaults. On one occasion, Rendi reportedly left a trace of DNA on one of the victim's jackets, with the defence attempting to write off the evidence by suggesting that the victim had sat on a park bench on which the man had spat.

    Under the terms of his sentence, the man will pay the equivalent of about 1,640 euros each to two of the victims, and 470 euros each to the other nine. Melander said he was "not satisfied" with the classification of the crime as simple 'sexual abuse', and said he would likely appeal the ruling. 

    According to Nyheter Idag, the women involved were shook up by the attacks, with one of them testifying that she had difficulty telling her boyfriend about the incident, and another reporting sitting in a snow drift for several minutes before gathering the composure to call the police. Many testified that the assaults had led them to change their behaviour – to look over their shoulders or avoid listening to music when out and about alone, and feeling nervous when men looked at them.

    Sweden has taken in over 200,000 asylum seekers, mostly from Islamic-majority countries, in the last few years alone, with authorities embracing immigration and threatening to impose sanctions against EU countries which oppose the policy. 

    The government's policy has caused considerable tension between locals and newcomers, with Sweden's Crime Prevention Council initiating a widely-anticipated research project last month to attempt to figure out the connection between immigration and crime. The research is the first of its kind since 2005, when authorities effectively abandoned the practice of reporting ethnicity in crime statistics.

    According to a 2017 report, migrants, who are believed to account for about a quarter of the country's population, were responsible for over 90 percent of serious sexual crimes, including rapes and gang rapes. A record 7,556 rapes were reported in the Scandinavian country in 2018, according to Crime Prevention Council figures.

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    Tags:
    slap on the wrist, probation, migrant, crime, sexual assault, fine, deportaion, Sweden
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