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Police academy teacher charged over sexual abuse

Students complained last year about inappropriate behaviour, sparking the investigation.

Poliisin logon Turun pääpoliisiaseman seinässä.
The chief constable has denied committing any crimes. Image: Kalle Mäkelä / Yle

A teacher at the Police University College has been charged with sexual abuse, sexual harassment and breach of official duty.

The defendant in the case, who is a police officer with the rank of Sergeant, has been in custody throughout the pre-trial investigation and denies having committed any crime.

Kimmo Himberg, Rector of the Police University College in Tampere, confirmed to Yle that the officer accused of the crimes has worked at the college for years.

"It is shocking that the apparent activity has been able to continue for a long time without anyone disclosing it to the staff," Himberg said.

"Not afraid to talk"

The Police University College began its own investigation after students reported inappropriate behaviour, and the college filed a criminal complaint last spring.

"I understand that some of the cases have become time-barred under criminal law, and then that means that we are talking about years," Himberg said, adding that many students started talking after one of the students dared to share their experiences.

"The good thing about the MeToo phenomenon is that we are no longer silent about such things, we are not afraid to talk about them."

Himberg added that although he has not seen any pre-trial material, he has talked to the alleged victims, all of whom -- according to Himberg -- are women.

The inappropriate behaviour at the centre of the case are said to have occurred both during teaching sessions and during the defendant's spare time.

The police have ordered that specific details related to the investigation must be kept secret at this stage. The court will decide on the public nature of the proceedings and of its documents.

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