Metal Guitarist Convicted of Despicaple Child Abuse Crimes

Guitarist Rikard Sunden, a founding member of the Swedish metal band Sabaton, was convicted of [...]

Guitarist Rikard Sunden, a founding member of the Swedish metal band Sabaton, was convicted of sexually abusing an 8-year-old girl and possessing child pornography. Sunden was a member of the band from 1999 to 2012. The guitarist was found guilty of molesting a friend's daughter at his home during an overnight stay. Swedish authorities also reportedly found two computers and a mobile phone belonging to Sunden that had videos of underage children in sexual acts.

The girl, whose name was not used to protect her privacy in the Swedish court documents obtained by Metal Sucks, testified that she spent the night at Sunden's home on Feb. 14, 2020 to watch the song competition Melodifestivalen with Sunden's daughter. She said Sunden crept into her bedroom late that night, took off her blanket, and touched her inside her clothes and on her private parts. At first, the girl pretended to be asleep when Sunden touched her and removed her shorts, but she moved and Sunden fled the room.

The alleged victim went to the bathroom a few times after the incident to get the attention of Sunden's wife, Sigrid. When Sigrid eventually woke up and asked the girl what was wrong, she said she could not sleep and had a stomach ache, so she wanted to go home. Sigrid did not take the girl home. Instead, she tried to put the girl back to sleep by playing music. The girl could not go back to sleep though, as she was afraid Sunden would go back into the room.

A few days later, the girl told a friend at school. The alleged victim and her friend told her friend's mother about the incident, and the mother contacted the police on March 6, 2020. The girl first spoke with authorities on March 17, 2020.

Sunden denied sexually abusing the girl, instead claiming that he was just checking to see if the girl fell asleep in a fort she made with her friends. "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," the court documents read, according to Metal Sucks. "NN3 has since made a mistake and thought it was him." The documents refer to the victim as "NN3."

Sigrid testified that the girl was "standing in the hall and said that she had a stomach ache and longed for home. [Sigrid] had never seen that reaction before from NN3 when she slept over with them," according to the documents. "NN3 is a calm, happy and confident girl and a good friend to the daughter," Sigrid claimed, adding that the girl was not known for making up stories.

The girl's mother also testified, describing her daughter as a "fearless and forward" girl whose personality has completely changed since the incident. Her daughter still struggles to sleep alone at night and suffers from anxiety, headaches, and a stress rash. One of the girl's teachers also testified that the girl is "withdrawn" in school now.

As for the child pornography charges, Sunden said he did watch child pornography but claimed the files were put on his computers by other people. He also claimed the pornographic video on his phone did not show underage children. Sunden, who recently changed his name to Johan Andersson, was sentenced to nine months in prison and ordered to pay EK 53,400 (about $6,240 USD) in damages.