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18-month suspended jail term for Helsinki teacher over students' sexual abuse

The teacher was convicted for nine incidents of sexual abuse that took place between 2013 and 2017.

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Image: Matti Myller / Yle

A teacher at a Swedish-language school in Helsinki was slapped with an 18-month suspended prison sentence for the sexual abuse of students in his charge.

The court also ordered the defendant to pay damages amounting to 1,500 euros to one of the complainants and 1,200 euros each to four others.

The court found that the offences occurred between 2013 and 2017. The 43 year-old denied the charges in court and said that when he touched the children he was providing massages and other forms of assistance without any sexual intent.

The court ruled that the teacher had sent messages with homosexual images and texts to young boys, which prompted a written warning in 2014. However he continued to engage in inappropriate communications with the students in spite of the warning, the court said.

The school filed a criminal report about the teacher at the beginning of 2017. The school principal was also charged with dereliction of duty in connection with the teacher's offences. The court will hear the case against the principal in 2019.

Svenska Yle reported on Friday that the teacher had not been teaching since April 2017, when police began to investigate the suspected offences.

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