Top court rejects Tartu university library chief sex crime acquittal appeal

Supreme Court building in Tartu.
Supreme Court building in Tartu. Source: Supreme Court of Estonia

The Supreme Court has overruled an appeal on a September ruling which saw a former director of the University of Tartu's library director acquitted of sex crimes.

The first-tier Tartu County Court found Martin Hallik guilty of compelling an individual to engage in sexual intercourse or sexual activity in March, handing him a one-year-and-six-month prison term in suspended sentence and a fine of €5,000 payable to the alleged victim.

However, Hallik's appeal to the second-tier Tartu Circuit Court was upheld, acquitting him of the charge.

District prosecutor Tatjana Tamm, and Maria Mägi-Rohtmets, representing the alleged victim, appealed to the Supreme Court to overturn the circuit court's ruling and reinstate Hallik's earlier sentence, but the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal.

Hallik was dismissed from his post in August 2018 following allegations that he engaged in what the university called at the time "undignified conduct" at a party the previous Christmas. Court proceedings began that December.

A little over a year after the story first broke, in September 2019, Tartu County Court found Hallik had been unfairly dismissed, and ordered the university to pay him over €90,000 damages.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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