A noted children's entertainer has been sentenced to five-years' jail in suspended sentence, after being found guilty of sexually abusing a girl aged under 10. The term, only four months of which is actual prison time, also follows guilty convictions on child pornography and firearms offenses.
First-tier Harju County Court sentenced Venno Loosaar, 52, Tuesday, in a trial which took place behind closed doors.
Loosaar had entered a not-guilty plea.
On initially being charged last summer, Loosaar said: "For 26 years now I have been hosting TV shows for kids, running kids' events and concerts, learning how to tune myself in with the youth, and doing all of this well. However, I have no sexual interest in children, and my soul is pure."
The five-year suspended sentence is accompanied by a five-year probation period, during which Loosaar must take part in a social program, BNS reports.
He must also pay €30,208 in legal costs on behalf of the victim, along with €1,460 compensation and €871 forensic costs, according to BNS.
In the course of its investigation into Loosaar the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) found child pornography as well as an illegally-owned firearm.
North District Prosecutor Arika Almann sought a guilty verdict and a jail term of five years, of which four months would have to be served immediately, when the trial commenced last June.
The remainder of the jail term will be conditional, with a five-year probation period.
Loosar's defense counsel, Ene Mõtte, sought her client's acquittal on all charges, and said Tuesday that her client will be appealing the decision at the second-tier circuit court.
The incidents in question had taken place several years ago, BNS reports, at a time when the victim would not have understood the full nature of Loosaar's acts. Authorities were only notified several years later, leading to last year's investigation.
The firearms offence revolved around an unlicensed weapon reportedly found at Loosaar's home as noted; the only details provided on the weapon were that it was of a smooth-bore variety, i.e. not a high-velocity firearm.
One of Loosaar's most famous roles was a presenter of the Otto-Triin children's show in the 1990s. He was also a leading member of the NUKU Theater, a well-known puppet and children's theater and museum, in Tallinn.
Editor: Andrew Whyte