Prosecutor seeking conditional sentence for Peeter Helme

Peeter Helme in court.
Peeter Helme in court. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

In the trial of writer Peeter Helme, accused of attempted sexual enticement of a child, the prosecutor has sought for a conditional sentence to be handed to the accused.

Prosecutor Andra Sild said that Helme's guilt has been proven and that a conditional jail sentence of one year and six months along with a two-year probation period must be meted out to him.

The trial will continue with attorneys for the defense taking the floor.

Helme did not admit his guilt in the sexual enticement of a child, saying that when chatting in an adult chat room he was convinced that he was talking to an adult person.  

"For me this was a virtual game, not different from the online computer games which I also play. When chatting in the chat room, I was absolutely convinced that I was chatting with an adult who was also playing a role game -- and I was right, as it came out later that it was a police officer," Helme said.

Helme said that his chat with the other person entailed no attempts at enticement. "There was no enticement to sexual contact or invitation to a meeting, there was only a general conversation on the subject of sex," he said.

"In such chat environment where no user can check the identity of another user and everybody can say whatever they want, unfortunately no one is protected against a provocation by the police," Helme, former chief editor of daily Postimees, said.

The police briefly detained Helme in December of last year but the prosecutor's office did not deem his arrest as necessary. 

According to the charges, Helme sexually enticed a person posing as a girl by the name of Marleen, aged 12, in the online chat room "Armastuse saal" ("Hall of Love") from October 8-10 last year. The person behind said account with "Armastuse saal" actually was a police agent.

Helme has previously said that the chat room is built in such a way that a person who has created an account there can choose anything as a name for themselves in a conversation.

"Every time you log in, you can choose a completely new name for yourself. I never expected people to tell the truth about themselves there. Rather, this chat room seems to be a place where people go to talk about sex. The user cannot prove who someone really is there. Not on the basis of what you say about yourself. That is, not on any basis," Helme said.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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