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Two face charges in Laajasalo sexual abuse cases

The main suspect, who has been in custody since March, is suspected of drugging girls before sexually assaulting them.

Kerrostalo helsingin Laajasalossa.
Prosecutors say the crimes took place at the man's apartment in eastern Helsinki. Image: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva

A 64-year-old Helsinki man and a suspected accomplice have been charged with an array of sex crimes against minors. Prosecutors say the suspected crimes took place at the man's flat in the Laajasalo district between 2006 and early this year, when he was arrested. There are 19 female plaintiffs in the case, nearly all of whom were underage at the time of the crimes.

The dozens of charges include aggravated rape, aggravated sexual abuse, aggravated drug offences and possession of unlawful materials.

Both defendants deny any wrongdoing. Prosecutors have requested that the case be heard behind closed doors and that all the trial materials remain sealed in an effort to protect the plaintiffs.

Police say that the suspected assaults took place at the man's home, where he plied the girls with alcohol and other intoxicants. Some of the victims are adults by now.

The main suspect has been detained since early March. In late July, police said they had launched a formal investigation, published the man's photograph and asked the public for any information about his activities. Within a week they received dozens of contacts, including new potential victims.

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