TALLINN – The Tallinn-based Harju County Court on Tuesday found Marek Koitla, a basketball coach who has coached various Estonian youth teams, guilty of committing a sexual offense against an underage girl and sexual enticement of a child and handed him a suspended prison term.
The court sentenced the defendant to three years and six months in prison with probation of the same length.
The probation period starts on Oct. 4.
Criminal proceedings were opened with regard to Koitla on June 6, 2019 following a report by a victim who said that Marek Koitla had committed a number of acts of sexual nature towards her over many years.
Koitla meanwhile has argued that the case arises from a civil dispute between him and his ex-partner regarding the arrangement of communication with their common child.
"The case in question concerns my stepdaughter and is not related to my professional activities," Koitla told Postimees after the reports surfaced, adding that in order to protect the privacy of the individuals involved, he will not offer any further comments until the criminal proceeding has ended.
Postimees said that several women who came into contact with the coach earlier, who are now adults, have told it about the coach on the condition of anonymity.
When the scandal erupted, Jakob Westholm Gymnasium in Tallinn, where Koitla was working as a physical education teacher at the time, suspended his employment contract.