School suspends employment contract of PE teacher accused of sexual offenses

  • 2021-03-23
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – The employment contract of Marek Koitla, a former coach of the youth basketball team and the physical education teacher of Jakob Westholm Gymnasium, who is accused by the North District Prosecutor's Office of sexual offenses against a minor, has been suspended.

"For my part, together with the school administrator, I have made a decision to suspend the employment contract with Marek Koitla as of today, so that during the investigation no question can arise whether our students and their families have a sense of security," Rando Kuustik, head of the school, said.

According to Kuustik, there is currently no information on whether the charges and investigation against Marek Koitla concern his activities as a teacher or his other professional activities as a coach and instructor outside the school.

"As the head of the school, I consider it a priority for myself and our entire teaching staff to provide a safe and supportive school environment for our students, I urge all students, parents and teachers to let the school know if they have any information or complaints about teacher Koitla's behavior or the school environment at Jakob Westholm Gymnasium more generally," he said.

A crime suspicion was lodged against Koitla in June 2019 and he was briefly detained by the police in October of the same year.

The prosecutor's office did not consider it necessary to ask the court to take him into custody for the duration of the pre-trial investigation.

Koitla is accused of knowingly sexually enticing a person under the age of 14 and committing an act of other sexual nature by using influence.

The prosecutor's office asks anyone who has also fallen victim or who may have additional information about possible sexual abuse to contact the sexual crimes and child protection group of the criminal bureau of the North Prefecture by calling +372 53 019 938.

The trial of Koitla in Harju County Court is taking place behind closed doors to protect the victim and the public will not be given information about what is happening at the trial.