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Norway man 'abused 15 children in asylum centre'

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Norway man 'abused 15 children in asylum centre'
A reception centre for younger unaccompanied minors in Kristiansand. Photo: Kristiansand Municipality.
21:46 CET+01:00
A care worker has been charged with sexually abusing 15 children in an asylum centre in southern Norway.
The man, who worked at asylum reception centres between 2013 and 2016, was arrested by police last Thursday.  
 
“He is charged with violation of Penal Code Section 304, which deals with sexual acts with children under 16 years of age,” Terje Kaddeberg Skaar, head of the Agder police district's prosecution unit, told Norwegian broadcaster NRK
 
According to the local Fædrelandsvennen newspaper, the aggrieved children are being interviewed at the Kristiansand branch of Statens Barnehus, a refuge for children and youths subjected to violence and sexual abuse. 
 
The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) learnt of the accusations more than a week ago, and regional management have already been in contact with the managers of the reception centre in question. 
 
“We have procedures for following up such cases and we have taken the necessary telephone numbers of those involved in the case,” said Tormod Stavenes, UDI's director for southern Norway. 
 
Stavenes refused to detail the safeguards and routines in place to prevent abuse. 
 
The accused's lawyer, Knut Henning Larsen, said that his client did not understand the charges laid against him and had not admitted guilt. A court on February 18 ruled that he should be placed in pre-trial detention for five weeks. 
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