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Thursday 4 October 2007

Sweden: British man prosecuted for criminal HIV tranmsission

HIV Brit prosecuted for infecting girls

Published: 4th October 2007 12:27 CET

The prosecution of an HIV positive British citizen believed to have slept with a large number of teenage girls he met on the internet is to be launched in Stockholm on Thursday.

Merrill Christer Aggett, 32, has been charged with serious assault and sexually exploitation of a minor. He is believed to have contacted 130 girls between 2002 and 2006 via internet chat sites.

Two young girls have been diagnosed as HIV positive after sleeping with Aggett. Prosecutors are arguing that he should be convicted of serious assault for infecting the girls.

Aggett is also facing charges of attempted serious assault for having unprotected sex with around ten other young girls, none of whom were infected. Many of them were under 15 when they slept with him.

The British citizen, who has lived in Sweden since he was a child, was arrested in the early summer. Police have since then been trying to establish how many women and girls he might have slept with. Aggett himself was diagnosed as HIV positive in 1992.

Neither police nor prosecutors were giving details of the case on Thursday.

"The prosecutor has requested that the entire investigation be classed as secret, out of consideration for those involved. For this reason I am prevented from commenting on the investigation," said Hans Strindlund of Stockholm Police.

Strindlund added that he was surprised that the prosecution wanted such a high level of secrecy, saying he understood public interest in the case.

"This is an awful tale, in which the man who has been charged is suspected of subjecting a lot of young women to the risk of being infected with HIV. Thank goodness only a few were infected," he said.

Strindlund has previously revealed that police have questioned most of the women in Aggett's contact list. Of approximately 100 women questioned by early August, ten had slept with him. The others had only chatted with him online or met him in person but not had sex.

The prosecutor's request for secrecy will be considered by Solna District Court on Thursday.

TT/The Local (

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