Former Sabaton Guitarist Convicted for Molesting 8-Year-Old Girl + Possession of Child Pornography
Rikard Sunden, the former guitarist of Sabaton and most recently a member of Civil War, has been convicted in a Swedish court of charges related to the sexual abuse of an 8-year-old girl and of possessing child pornography.
The news was revealed by Metal Sucks, who obtained court documents relating to the case. Sunden was found guilty of one count of child sexual abuse and six counts of possession of child pornography. He was sentenced to nine months in prison and a fine of SEK 53,400 (which is a little over $6,000 in U.S. money).
In the documents, it was revealed that the musician had molested his daughter's friend during an overnight stay a their home. Authorities also seized two of the guitarist's computers and a mobile phone that were said to possess six films of children engaging in sexual acts.
The court documents kept the girl's identity private, but did reveal her account of the incident that occurred during the sleepover. She claimed that late at night the musician had snuck into her room, lifted the blanket and had started to touch inside her clothing around her intimate parts. She said she first pretended to be asleep, but when she moved the musician left the room.
She kept the incident quiet until sharing what happened with a friend several days later. The children eventually told the friend's mother who then reported it to the police on March 6, 2020. The girl shared her testimony with the authorities 11 days later.
As for the possession of child pornography charge, Metal Sucks reveals the court documents cited the musician as having "owned seven child pornographic films." The musician reportedly admitted to watching child pornography, but denied that the films were his, claiming that others had access to his computer and that there was a previous owner of his computer as well. He conceded that the phone was solely his but stated that he did not believe the subject of the film on his phone to have been underage.
Metal Sucks also revealed that the guitarist and his wife have now separated over the incident and that Sunden has officially changed his name in order to protect his children and their reputation should he be convicted.
Sunden was one of the original members of Sabaton, playing guitar and lending backing vocals on six studio albums during his stint with the band between 1999-2012. He then joined Civil War in 2012 but is now listed as a former member of the group as of 2021.