In a recent ruling by the Helsinki District Court, a man born in 1984 has been sentenced to one year and four months of suspended imprisonment for child sexual abuse. The offenses occurred over a period of approximately 1.5 years, between 2015 and 2017, during which the man repeatedly touched the daughter of his female friend inappropriately. At the time of the acts, the victim was between 8 and 9 years old. The court found the victim’s account to be reliable and convincing, leading to the conviction.
Victim’s Testimony and Circumstances
The abuse took place while the mother was at work, and the man, who worked as an entrepreneur, was occasionally at home alone with the victim during the day. The victim disclosed the events to her mother a few years after her parents had separated. According to the victim, the man had used bribes and blackmail, such as sweets and money, to manipulate her. The man adamantly denied the charges, with the defense suggesting that the victim might have had motives of revenge.
Helsinki Court of Appeal Reduces Sentence, Raises Questions
The man decided to appeal the district court’s ruling, arguing that the victim’s account might have been influenced by a YouTube video discussing abuse. The Helsinki Court of Appeal considered various factors, including the nature of the acts, the circumstances surrounding them, and the age of the victim, in determining the appropriate sentence. Ultimately, the court reduced the sentence to one year and two months of suspended imprisonment, acknowledging the potential impact of external influences on the victim’s testimony.