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Revivalist preacher convicted of sexual abuse

Markku Koivisto, a charismatic preacher at a revivalist congregation in Nokia, has been given a 15 month suspended jail sentence for sexually abusing a 17-year-old boy.

Markku Koivisto pitämässä puhetta Nokia Missio -seurakunnalle 11. syyskuuta.
Markku Koivisto led a revivalist Christian congregation in the town of Nokia until 2011. Image: Yle

Koivisto will also have to perform 30 hours of community service and pay 15,500 euros in compensation, as well as court costs. He had admitted his crimes during the case. His congregation had removed him from leadership positions in August 2011, but did not suspect him of a crime.

The maximum sentence for sexual abuse in Finland is four years. The court found that a lighter sentence was justified because the victim was not related to the defendant.

Pirkanmaa District Court said in its ruling that the sentence was justified because he had abused a position of trust. He had convinced his victim that sexual acts helped his spiritual development.

Proceedings were held behind closed doors at the request of the victim.

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