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Police refer child sexual abuse case with 30 victims to prosecutors

A young Finnish male is suspected of multiple counts of aggravated child rape and sexual exploitation of children.

Pansaroituajoneuvo "Hevi"
Police have found at least 30 victims from different parts of Finland. Image: Eerik Lappalainen / Yle

Police in southwestern Finland have passed a case involving an exceptionally large number of child sexual offenses to prosecutors for consideration.

The suspect, a native Finnish man, has been in custody since early spring after police were alerted to his suspected crimes through both domestic and international tips.

He is being held on suspicion of multiple counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, aggravated child rape, and the possession and dissemination of indecent images of children. Police believe he used social media networks to facilitate his crimes.

All of the suspected victims uncovered so far were girls between the ages of 8 and 14.

Victims across country

Police have identified at least 30 victims from all over Finland, and the identities of more victims may be ascertained as joint investigations continue with both Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation and a number of international agencies.

Of the victims known so far, 13 preliminary investigations have been completed and the files passed on to the prosecutor for consideration.

Three other individuals have also been the subject of a preliminary investigation related to the suspected crimes, which is being conducted by officers at the Turku Central Police Station.

In a press release, police reminded parents and guardians of children that feelings of shame often prevent victims from telling other people what has happened to them. Therefore, parents should monitor the safe use of social media by children, and create an atmosphere in the home where even difficult subjects can be discussed.

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