A founding member of SABATON, guitarist Rikard Sundén, currently the guitarist of CIVIL WAR, has been convicted by a Swedish court of s*xual abuse of an 8-year-old girl and possession of child p*rn.
According to official court documents obtained by MetalSucks (and translated from Swedish using Google), Sundén, now going by the name Johan Andersson molested his daughter’s friend during an overnight stay. The authorities also seized two computers and a mobile phone belonging to Sundén and found six films of underage children committing sexual acts.
The eight-year-old girl, whose anonymity is protected under the alias “NN3”, says that she slept over with Sundén’s daughter and her family on the night of February 14th, 2020. She alleged that Sundén snuck into her room late at night, lifted her blanket and touched her inside her clothes and around her intimate parts. She at first pretended to be asleep while Sundén touched her and lifted her shorts — he had already checked on them twice by that point — but when she eventually moved, Sundén left the room.
Scared and confused, the girl went to the toilet several times to attempt to get the attention of her friend’s mother. When the mother, Sundén’s wife Sigrid, eventually noticed, the girl said she couldn’t sleep, had a stomach ache, and wanted to go home. As it was the middle of the night, Sigrid explained that wasn’t possible, and attempted to comfort her by putting on a “music story” to help her sleep. The girl did not sleep the rest of the night, scared that Sundén would come in again.
Sundén denied the claim of sexual abuse, saying he had simply checked to make sure the girl fell asleep as she seemed to be having trouble doing so inside a makeshift fort that the friends had constructed on the floor. “His theory is that his daughter, who touches herself a lot when she sleeps, has accessed NN3 with her hands and feet in her sleep,” according to his testimony summarized in the court document. “NN3 has since made a mistake and thought it was him. “
On the charges of child p*rn possession, the document reads:
“Johan Andersson has owned seven child p*rnographic films. It happened on April 3 2020 at Trotzgatan 90, Falun, Falu municipality. The crime should be considered serious as the films depict children who are particularly exposed to serious s*xual coercion and violence and has been exploited in otherwise particularly ruthless ways. Johan Andersson Rikard Sundén committed the act with intent.”
While Sundén admitted to watching child p*rn, he denied the files were his, claiming others had access to his computers, including touring bandmates, etc. While he concedes he alone had access to his mobile phone, he contends that he did not believe the subject of the p*rn video stored there to be underage.
The Swedish court found Sundén guilty of one count of child s*xual abuse and six counts of possession of child p*rnography. He has been sentenced to nine months in prison, and damages totaling SEK 53,400 (roughly $6,240 USD).