Care center employee found guilty of sexual crimes against clients

{{1680791040000 | amCalendar}}
Raul Talviste in court at Paide Courthouse on Thursday. April 6, 2023.
Raul Talviste in court at Paide Courthouse on Thursday. April 6, 2023. Source: Olev Kenk/ERR

In a ruling issued at Paide Courthouse on Thursday, Pärnu County Court found former Koeru Care Center activity supervisor Rauli Talviste, 60, guilty of committing acts of sexual nature against the will of several special care service clients under his care.

Talviste had begun working as activity supervisor at Koeru Care Center in Järva County on August 1, 2018, according to the details of a court press release. At a time not determined in the pretrial investigation, he acted inappropriately and sexually toward five special care service clients under his care.

He was suspended from duty on May 9, 2022.

The first-tier court found that by repeatedly committing nonconsensual acts of sexual nature against them, and taking advantage of the victims' dependence on the perpetrator in doing so, Talviste committed acts of sexual nature against their will.

Talviste was found guilty under § 143, subsection 2 of the Penal Code and sentenced to three years in prison. As this case was tried under abridged procedure, in accordance with the Code of Criminal Procedure, the court reduced the sentence by a third to two years. Of these, the court ordered the defendant to serve three months in prison immediately, and the remaining year and nine months to be served conditionally with four years of probation.

Commenting on Thursday's ruling, Merike Lugna, district prosecutor at the Western District Prosecutor's Office, said that one has the right to freely choose whether, with whom, when and in what manner they will engage in sexual relations.

"Sexual self-determination is a part of personal freedoms," Lugna said. "As a result, violating one's right to sexual self-determination is a crime. The court has found that it can be confirmed based on evidence gathered in the course of criminal proceedings that the accused repeatedly acted inappropriately and sexually abused the five special care service clients that had been under his care."

According to the district prosecutor, the purpose of criminal proceedings is to ensure that the perpetrator receives an effective punishment.

"While abridged procedures call for the sentence to be reduced by a third, I believe that even the sentence handed down via abridged procedure this time is enough for the accused to understand that his behavior was wrong and is unacceptable to society," Lugna said.

"Even more important than punishment is putting an end to crimes and restoring the rule of law, which will help the victim understand what happened, help them better cope with the impacts of the act and make peace with the injustice that has been done to them," she added.

The judgment has not yet entered into force.


Follow ERR News on Facebook and Twitter and never miss an update!

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Hea lugeja, näeme et kasutate vanemat brauseri versiooni või vähelevinud brauserit.

Parema ja terviklikuma kasutajakogemuse tagamiseks soovitame alla laadida uusim versioon mõnest meie toetatud brauserist: