Prosecutors in Sweden are attempting to convict a man of rape involving children despite never being in the same room or country as his alleged victims. The 41-year-old suspect is accused of blackmailing at least 27 children in the US, Canada and Scotland by coercing them to perform sex acts online and threatening their family would be killed if they failed to comply.
The man from Uppland, who has not been named, is alleged to have taken images of his victims captioning them: "Come and find me, rape me, then kill my family."
He is then accused of threatening to post the images on porn and rape sites unless they continued to perform sex acts in front of a camera.
The suspect is also accused of asking a 14-year-old girl in the US to perform a sex act on a stranger in the street, as well as making her pierce herself with objects and perform a sex act on a dog, reports The Local.
He is also alleged to have threatened to shoot her family if she refused to obey him.
The man faces rape charges due to a change in the law in Sweden in 2005. The country broadened its definition to include recording acts which would be classified as assault or bodily harm in other countries.
Defence prosecutor Kronje Samuelsson argued the allegations against the defendant were still not covered by Sweden's definition of rape.
He told the TT news agency: "As we understand it, as the court of appeal has ruled [in a separate case], if you are not in the same room then you cannot be convicted of rape."
No one in Sweden has ever been convicted of rape when it involves online sex acts. The suspect has admitted some offences, but denied the rape allegations, reports TT.