Pedophile continues to work at school

Helen Mihelson
, reporter
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Photo: Jürgen Norkroos / Õhtuleht

Even though the Tallinn School of Economics immediately terminated the contract of Jaanus Konsa upon his conviction of crimes of pedophilia in the first instance court, the man was reinstated a mere month later for a more than prosaic reason: the work needed to be done, and there was no one else.

Konsa was convicted of acts of pedophilia committed over a number of years on March 30. Charges suggest he kept 300 image and video files depicting minors in erotic or pornographic poses at home. These included videos and photographs of underage boys taken by Konsa himself.

Konsa was charged with posing as an underage girl in Skype with the intent of convincing boys to pose in pornographic poses in front of a web camera in 2015 and 2016. He also convinced boys to send him pornographic pictures of themselves in the portal.

The prosecution also charged Konsa with an act of a sexual nature involving a 14-year-old-boy (touching the boy's genitals, masturbation).

Decision not entered into force

The county court sentenced Konsa to four years and four months in prison of which he needs to serve six months. The rest of the sentence is conditional and has a probation period of five years. The court's decision has not entered into force yet as Konsa appealed the matter on May 5.

The conviction of the former adviser to the justice chancellor was covered by all media channels; however, what everyone missed was the fact Konsa was working as deputy principal of the Tallinn School of Economics when the court announced its decision. The school sent a letter to its concerned staff and students the very same day. While the school has no minors as it offers post-high school vocational education, news of the conviction was shocking.

„Today we all learned of a shocking and unpleasant announcement concerning one of our teachers. Jaanus Konsa maintains the charges are false, and that he will appeal the ruling seeking acquittal. We have suspended his contract until such time as the final ruling has been delivered,“ the school's communications specialist told students.

Jaanus Konsa's name was removed from contacts on the school's website. Students said that the website no longer displayed promotional videos in which Konsa appeared. The school seemingly reacted entirely properly: Konsa was removed from running the school pending a final decision in his case.

However, students were surprised to spot Konsa's fancy Lexus parked in front of the main entrance, at times a little further away, or even behind the building thereafter. Konsa attended meetings and was seen carrying things into the building.

The public procurements register also reveals a catering procurement from a month after Konsa's contract was suspended on May 8 bearing the man's signature. „Despite a promise to suspend Konsa's contract, the working relationship between the Tallinn School of Economics and Jaanus Konsa is secretly continuing,“ a group of concerned students wrote Postimees.

We asked the school whether Konsa's contract was still suspended the week before last, about a month and a half after the initial suspension. The school's communications specialist Riinu Raasuke told us it was. Asked whether this means Konsa has no more business in the school, the school's representative said once again that Konsa's contract remains suspended.

Tying up procurements

Because Postimees has at its disposal photographs that prove Konsa visited the school on several occasions as recently as last week, we contacted the principal of the school to ask whether Konsa was an employee or not. It turned out that Konsa was partly reinstated as important loose ends need to be tied up.

Konsa was active in several fields in the vocational school: he acted as the deputy principal, taught classes, and was performing the duties of a development and administrative director for a specified term.

„Because this constitutes a very delicate matter for us, we stopped his work teaching classes on March 30. He worked as our deputy development and administrative director for a term, and we did reinstate him in that role,“ Principal Triin Laasi said. She explained that Konsa was in the middle of important tasks involving public procurements. The principal added that the step – reinstating Konsa despite his conviction in the first instance – was coordinated with the education ministry.

Because the ruling has not officially entered into force due to Konsa's appeal, the school has no legal grounds for termination. That is why Konsa's work as a teacher was immediately suspended as it carried an especially high degree of sensitivity according to Laasi. All of Konsa's teaching assignments were distributed among other teachers.

Konsa will, however, continue as deputy development and administrative director part-time. „Right now the agreement is this: because his contract as deputy director is for a fixed term as it is, and we have a new person coming this summer, Konsa will finish work on outstanding public procurements,“ Laasi said.

She added that the situation is indeed complicated: „Because we do not have anyone who could take over Jaanus' work with procurements overnight as the field requires prior knowledge, exactness, and a legal education, he will finish his work until the new person arrives.“

Jaanus Konsa was unwilling to comment on ongoing judicial proceedings. Concerning his tasks at the Tallinn School of Economics, Konsa said he is all but finished with his work.