Supreme Court upholds fine for judge in Axl Smith sex tape case

The judge was fined for allowing the names of victims in the case to be sent to the media - her legal team argued it was human error rather than negligence.

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File photo of judge holding documents / Credit: iStock

The Supreme Court has issued a ruling Friday morning to uphold a fine against a judge in the Axl Smith sex tape case.

Helsinki District Court judge Maritta Pakarinen was fined for negligent breach of duty in a case which involved the disgraced Finnish entertainer and television personality.

Smith was convicted in 2017 for secretly filming 29 women, including with a camera hidden in his bedroom, and distributing the images. During the trial judge Pakarinen decided the case was so sensitive that the names of seven of the victims should be fully or partially withheld.

Although the District Court uses a system to redact the names, it was ultimately the judge’s responsibility to ensure their privacy was maintained. However the seven names were included in the final judgment which was sent out to 140 media email addresses.

Judge Pakarinen was fined 25 days income by the District Court – equal to €1450 – and ordered to contribute €2000 in compensation to the victims, who also received €1000 each from the state.

In the appeal, lawyers for Judge Pakarinen say she had written and checked more than 150 pages of judgment in the case and that it was human error rather than negligence, that the names were not properly redacted.

Some of the victims have said they experienced harassment, anxiety and fear due to their names being revealed.