When it comes to technology, criminals seem to have gotten a head start on law enforcement. However, slowly but surely, the law is catching up to criminals such as Bjorn Samstrom, who was sentenced on November 30 to 10 years in prison for the “cyber rape” of young teenagers.
The Investigation into Bjorn Samstrom
Using online chat boards and social media, Bjorn Samstrom, 41, established contact with 27 juveniles who he convinced to perform sex acts on themselves in front of webcams. If they refused, the Swede threatened to kill their family or post their nude images on porn sites.
The teens, who were victimized from 2015 to 2017, were all under the age of 15. They were located in Canada, Britain, and the United States.
Samstrom was under investigation for another alleged sex crime when police found videos in his home of girls speaking English. Swedish investigators then reached out to law enforcement in Canada, Britain, and the U.S.
Ultimately, 18 of the victims were located and interviewed. The other nine teens were never identified.
Appeal Is Possible
The court proceedings were closed to the public in an effort to ensure the anonymity of the victims. Bjorn Samstrom was convicted of rape and possession of child pornography. He was also ordered to pay over $130,000 in damages to the identified victims.
Samstrom has admitted to coercing the teenagers, but he denies that his crimes constitute rape.
“He has been convicted of crimes which he does not consider he is guilty of. So it is very possible that he appeals,” defense lawyer Kronje Samuelsson told a Swedish news agency.
This case marked the first time in Sweden that a rape conviction had been secured for crimes that took place online. According to Swedish law, rape doesn’t have to include physical penetration.