Former Tartu university library chief convicted of sexual offence

Martin Hallik's sentencing at Tartu County Court on Wednesday.
Martin Hallik's sentencing at Tartu County Court on Wednesday. Source: Henry-Laur Allik/ERR

Former University of Tartu library director Martin Hallik was sentenced at Tartu County Court on Wednesday to eighteen months' imprisonment for a sexual offence.

Hallik, 44, will also have to pay €5,000 in damages to the victim, ERR's online news in Estonian reports.

A criminal investigation into Hallik was launched on October 3 2018, reaching the courts in August last year. The trial began on November 4 at Tartu County Court and took place behind closed doors, though a court photographer was present at Wednesday's sentencing.

Hallik was charged with two counts under the section of the Penal Code dealing with compelling a person to engage in sexual intercourse or other act of sexual nature by taking advantage of the dependency of the victim on the offender.

He was convicted to eighteen months' jail time for compelling a person to engage in sexual intercourse. According to ERR's online Estonian news, he will be able to appeal the decision.

A parallel case concerned Hallik's dismissal from his post as Tartu University librarian and the question of compensation. First tier Tarty County Court ruled last September that the university had unlawfully dismissed Hallik following the allegations of sexual misconduct, ordering it to pay him €90,568 in compensation. However, the university appealed the decision; Tartu Circuit Court, the second tier in the Estonian court system, upheld the appeal on February 20 this year.

This latter decision can also be appealed at the Supreme Court within 30 days of judgment.

Martin Hallik served as University of Tartu Library Director 2005-2010, then again 2016-2018. During the intervening time he was Vice-Rector of Research at the university, it is reported.

In August 2018, the University of Tartu unilaterally terminated Hallik's employment contract after the allegations of sexual misconduct emerged.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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