Jari Sillänpää child sex abuse trial begins at Helsinki court

Entertainer's lawyer says the charge of abuse against her client does not involve a physical act.

File picture of Finnish singer Jari Sillanpää / Credit: @jarisillanpaa Instagram

Singer Jari Sillänpää, one of Finland’s most popular and well-known entertainers, goes on trial Wednesday at Helsinki District Court.

He’s accused of sexually abusing a child, and distributing offensive images.

The singer could be facing up to four years in prison, and denies the charges against him. He says he doesn’t know how how the images got onto his computer – but notes that anyone attending a party could have had access to his computer.

Silänpää’s lawyer told Finnish News Agency STT that the charge of abuse against her client does not involve a physical act.

The alleged acts took place between August and September 2017 during a time when Sillanpää was also suffering from drug addiction and before the latest accusations his career seemed to have recovered from a string of problems.

In January 2018 he was convicted of alcohol, drugs and traffic offenses, after being caught under the influence of methamphetamines in Helsinki a few months previously. Sillanpää admitted in court that he committed the crimes, and was fined €24,000.

In March 2018 he was detained at Helsinki Airport suspected of drugs offenses.

The singer shot to fame more than 20 years when his album became the biggest ever Finnish debut, selling more than 270,000 copies. Sillanpää has so far released more than a dozen albums.