Dance teacher sex allegations spark online threats

Allegations that three Latin American dance teachers living in Finland committed sex crimes against their students have led to a barrage of online threats and abuse.

Police have intervened and asked websites to remove what they say could constitute hate speech.

More than ten people accused the dance instructors of sexual molestation, and it is thought that there could be even more victims who are yet to come forward. All three suspects deny the charges against them and say any sexual contact was consensual.

Detective inspector Jari Kinnunen said the online discussion groups were brought to their attention after an outsider in the case, but someone involved in dance circles, complained that he was threatened with an act of revenge. “I took a look at a few pages and there was some very intense language. At least in my view, there was material that clearly needed to be removed,” he told Helsingin Sanomat.

The comments are similar in tone to some made more than a year ago when a North African restaurateur burned down his own pizzeria, killing three people.

Kinnunen is asking the public to refrain from hate speech and for websites to moderate their content more vigilantly.