Former SABATON convicted of child sex abuse and possessing child pornography

09 April 2021
news page

Founding SABATON guitarist Rikard Sundén, who played with the band from 1999 until 2012, has been jailed for nine months for sexually abusing an eight-year-old friend of his daughter at his home in Falun, Sweden in February 2020.

Father-of-three Sundén, 39, was jailed for nine months, and must pay damages of SEK 53,400 (approximately £4,550) after being found guilty of one count of child sexual abuse, and six counts of possession of child pornography. 
According to official court documents, Sundén, who has now legally changed his name to Johan Andersson, abused the girl after she slept over with his daughter on the night of February 14, 2020, after watching the Melodifestivalen, a competition to select Sweden’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. The musician had denied the charge, and sought to shift the blame to his daughter, claiming she may have accidentally touched her friend with her hands and feet in her sleep.
At the time of his arrest, Swedish police confiscated two computers and a mobile phone belonging to Sundén and found six films of underage children committing sexual acts. The court documents stated, “The crime should be considered serious as the films depict children who are particularly exposed to serious sexual coercion and violence and has been exploited in otherwise particularly ruthless ways. Johan Andersson Rikard Sundén committed the act with intent.
Sundén has now separated from his partner of 18 years, with the court documents noting, “He has also changed his name to protect his children in case he is convicted; he does not want them to lose their friends. He has no sexual interest in children.”