The Swedish case came to light when police investigated Samstrom for another alleged sex crime and discovered he had video recordings of the young foreigners, said Wennerström.The victims in Canada were tracked down by the “super-professional” RCMP, who interviewed them on behalf of the Swedes.“It’s only the sexual predator’s imagination that sets the limits. So we have to adapt our mindset to, ‘What can a rape be? You don’t always have to have the textbook case of a physical attack or physical coercion.” Under Swedish law, rape is the most serious form of sexual crime; it does not have to involve intercourse, but does require an act deemed to be as serious a violation of sexual integrity as intercourse.David Matas, a lawyer and spokesman for Beyond Borders, a Canadian group that fights sexual exploitation of children, said he is aware of no attempt here to charge an internet-only predator with sexual assault, Canada’s equivalent of rape.
Perhaps the closest parallel in Canada was the Kingston, Ont., case of Mark Bedford, convicted in 2008 of blackmailing several girls into performing sex acts on camera.
They did as they were told.” The girls were made to take off their clothes and penetrate themselves with fingers or objects.
Though not in the Canadian cases, some were forced to involve other children or pets.
A rape conviction could send a message to the growing number of predators who might not have the nerve to assault a child in person, but are willing to victimize them in the digital world, said Wennerström.
“It’s easy to cross the line, a lot easier than going to a playground and finding a victim,” she said.