January 07, 2020
A British teenager found guilty of lying about being gang-raped in Cyprus can return home after she was handed a four-month suspended jail sentence.
British Teen Convicted Over Lying About Cyprus Gang Rape Given Suspended Sentenced
The 19-year-old woman hugged her family and her legal team and left court weeping, with her head in her hands, after she was sentenced for public mischief.
The teenager’s mother shouted “she’s coming home” to supporters outside court, telling reporters she feels “relieved”.
Her English lawyer, Lewis Power QC, said she will be returning home on Tuesday.
The teenager, who has not been named, had faced being jailed for up to a year and fined 1,700 euro (£1,500) after she was convicted of public mischief late last month.
Her family had said they feared for her mental health if she was sent back to prison and hoped she will be allowed to return to the UK to be treated for PTSD.
But she is free to return home after Judge Michalis Papathanasiou told her he was giving her a “second chance”, PA Media reported.
He said: “I admit, I have been troubled over this. All the evidence shows that she had lied and prevented the police from doing other serious jobs.
“Twelve people were arrested and seven of them were there for at least 10 days. That was also a serious offence.
“Her psychological state, her youth, that she has been away from her family, her friends and academic studies this year.
“This has led me to decide to give her a second chance and suspend the sentence for three years.”
Supporters had gathered outside the court on Tuesday holding banners declaring: “We believe you.”The judge told Famagusta District Court on Tuesday the four month sentence would be suspended for three years.
Local media reports had suggested Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades was going to pardon her if she was given a custodial sentence. 
She had alleged she was raped by up to 12 Israeli tourists in a hotel room in the party town of Ayia Napa on July 17, but she has said Cypriot police forced her to sign a retraction statement which led to her being convicted of public mischief at Famagusta District Court, in Paralimni.
Last week she appealed to prime minister Boris Johnson to “please bring me home” and described her experience as “a waking nightmare”.The teenager has been stuck on the island after she was charged and spent about a month in prison before being granted bail in August.
The dozen young men and boys, aged between 15 and 20 arrested over the incident were freed after she signed a retraction statement 10 days later.
The woman maintains she was raped after having consensual sex with one of the Israelis, but forced to change her account under pressure from Cypriot police.
The case hinged on a retraction statement signed by the teenager following hours of questioning alone and without legal representation.One defence witness, Marios Matsakis, a forensic pathologist who formerly worked for the state, said the woman’s injuries were consistent with rape, and also pointed to a DNA test which suggested three of the men had sexual contact with her.But prosecutors said she fabricated the allegation, angry at being filmed during sex.Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he has raised concerns over her treatment with the Cypriot authorities, after the teenager’s conviction provoked outrage in Cyprus and the UK.Her lawyers are poised to launch an appeal and hope to fast-track proceedings in Cyprus’s supreme court, which could take three to four years.Related... Fundraiser For British Teen Convicted Of Lying About Cyprus Gang Rape Raises £115,000 Mother Of Brit Teen Found Guilty Of Lying About Being Gang Raped Backs Cyprus Tourism Boycott Mother Of Brit Teen Found Guilty Of Lying About Being Gang Raped Speaks Out About Verdict UK Government To Intervene In Case Of Brit Teen Found Guilty Of Lying About Being Gang Raped British Teenager Found Guilty Of Lying About Being Gang Raped By Israeli Tourists In Ayia Napa British Teenager Denies Making False Gang Rape Claim In Cyprus
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