A Swedish former LGBT association employee convicted of raping and sexually abusing several male asylum seekers has had his sentence reduced after an appeal.
The man, 56-year-old Pablo Leiva, was sentenced to just four years after being convicted of five rapes and two counts of sexual assault on male asylum seekers between 2018 and 2019, while he worked for the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Rights (RFSL).
According to a report from Swedish broadcaster SVT, an appeal court had reduced the sentence to three years and four months due to the fact the man had been fired from his job as a result of the case.
The appeal court also questioned whether or not two of the counts of rape had not been voluntary and acquitted the 56-year-old of the two counts, saying it was not proven that the asylum seekers participated unwillingly.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 23, 2021
Majeed Alnashi, the lawyer for one of the men whose accusations of rape were dismissed, commented: “Words that are said in despair cannot be interpreted as voluntary in any way. He said something like ‘go ahead do what you want,’ but he said it for the purpose that he had given up, not that it was OK.”
Alnashi added that he was now preparing to take his client’s case to the Swedish supreme court for a review of the ruling.
The case made headlines in Sweden earlier this year in March when it was revealed that the 56-year-old had been charged for raping male asylum seekers while he worked at the Stockholm branch of the RSFL.
Prosecutor Paulina Pilati of the City Prosecutor’s Office in Stockholm stated that the asylum seekers had come to Leiva in order to get help with their asylum claims and the 56-year-old had taken advantage of them.
“They have understood that they have to have sex with him to get help to stay in Sweden. The plaintiffs have not participated voluntarily,” Pilati said.
Later that month, six more asylum seekers came forward alleging that they had also been abused by the 56-year-old. According to SVT, the investigation into the allegations of the six men is still ongoing.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 21, 2021