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Judge suspected of criminal negligence in sex tape case

A Helsinki judge is believed to have leaked sensitive information in the case of a TV personality convicted of making sex tapes without his partners' consent.

Axl Smith
Axl Smith was convicted for secretly filming 29 sex partners and disseminating the material. Image: Jarno Kuusinen / AOP

The Deputy Chancellor of Justice has recommended pressing charges against a Helsinki District Court judge for breach of official secrecy in a sex tape case against ex-TV personality Axl Smith.

The charges are based on allegations that the judge negligently released sections of the Smith conviction to the media. The names of some of the affected parties who were secretly filmed by Smith are alleged to have made their way to media sources.

The judge in the case came under scrutiny when a criminal complaint was filed with the police, the Chancellor's office said in a statement. According to the constitution, either the office of the Chancellor of Justice or the Parliamentary Ombudsman is responsible for deciding on whether or not to lay charges against a judge for suspected unlawful actions.

Suspended sentence, damages for media star

The Deputy Chancellor has since asked the Office of the Prosecutor General to take action to bring charges against the judge in question. According to the statement, the Deputy Chancellor's recommendation and other documents relating to the charges will remain sealed for now and a court will decide whether or not they will be made public when the hearing begins.

In November 2017, a Court of Appeal upheld a lower court conviction and 14-month suspended sentence against TV presenter Axl Smith for recording sex tapes of his partners and distributing some of the material without their knowledge or consent.

Smith was convicted on 30 counts of illicit viewing, four counts of defamation and two counts of disseminating information that violated his victims' privacy. The district court also sentenced Smith to pay a total of 100,000 euros to his victims and to compensate the courts for trial costs to the tune of 50,000 euros.

Smith secretly filmed a total of 29 sexual partners and showed some of the material to third parties.

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