The man, who has not been named, was jailed in 2007 for two years and ten months after being found guilty in Bergen of rape and indecent exposure.
He later moved to Oslo and lived close to Giskegjerde Schjetne, who disappeared while walking home from a friend’s house almost a month ago.
“I’m innocent,” the man told newspaper Verdens Gang (VG), adding that he now regretted contacting the police.
“I did it to help the police in a serious case. Now I feel under suspicion and very badly treated.”
”This has been a real strain for me and my girlfriend,” he said.
According to VG, the 29-year-old’s girlfriend has provided him with an alibi, claiming she was with him at all times on the night in question except for one very short period.
In an interview carried out a few days after the disappearance, the man said he had travelled to Sweden the day after the girl disappeared, a claim he now rejects.
”That is not correct and may have been a misunderstanding by the journalists,” he said.
He said he came home from the Tusenfryd amusement park on the afternoon of Sunday, August 5th, to find the police searching through the neighbourhood. He said he grasped that something serious must have happened the night before.
”I read about the case online and followed it. I realized I might have information about a serious case and contacted the police,” he said, adding he had hesitated in doing do because of his criminal record.
He told police he had been sitting on his balcony the night before smoking a cigarette. First, he saw a girl who he thought had probably just got off a metro train. Moments later he heard a piercing scream followed by what he believed was the sound of a car door slamming.
He said he then told his girlfriend what he had heard.
”I told her that it almost sounded like someone being kidnapped or killed,” he told VG.
The teenager was wearing jeans shorts, a blue jumper and a grey singlet when she disappeared. She is 16-years-old, 170 centimetres tall and has light brown hair and blue eyes.
Police have claimed this week to know more about the case than they have revealed, but noted that nobody had yet been formally charged as a suspect.