January 07, 2020

British teenager in Cyprus gang rape case handed four-month suspended jail sentence
A British teenager convicted of lying about being gang-raped by a group of Israeli tourists in a Cyprus holiday resort was on her way home to the UK on Tuesday after the judge in the case gave her a four-month suspended sentence. But her lawyers vowed to appeal the conviction at the Cyprus Supreme Court and said they were determined to clear her name – a process that could take years. The 19-year-old shook her head as the sentence was read out, looking nervous and tearful. She was put on trial after Cypriot police accused her of lying about being gang-raped in the hedonistic resort of Ayia Napa in July. Last week the judge found her guilty of a charge of causing public mischief with the allegedly false claim. As judge Michalis Papathanasiou read out the sentence, protesters outside chanted “Cyprus justice, shame on you,” and “Blame the rapist, not the victim.” The Cypriot and Israeli protesters, most of them women, held up placards saying they believed the British teenager’s account of being pinned down and raped by an unknown number of Israelis in an Ayia Napa hotel room on July 17. Activists take part in a demonstration, after a British woman was found guilty of faking a rape claim, outside the Famagusta courthouse in Paralimni Credit: Reuters In his sentencing remarks, the judge said the charge of public mischief was a serious crime, saying the young woman had falsely incriminated 12 Israeli men, who were arrested immediately after the alleged attack. He insisted that there had been “no rape at all” and that the testimony she gave the court was “false”. But he said he had decided to hand down a suspended sentence after taking into account the woman’s young age, her fragile emotional state and the fact that she had no criminal record before coming to Cyprus in the summer. The woman’s family says she suffered panic attacks after the alleged gang rape and now suffers from acute PTSD. "I admit, I have been troubled over this. All the evidence shows that she had lied and prevented the police from their other duties,” the judge told a packed court room in the town of Paralimni, a few miles from Ayia Napa’s beaches and bars. "Because of her testimony, 12 people were arrested and seven of them were there for at least 10 days. That was also a serious offence. They were deprived of their liberty." But he said the young woman from Derbyshire deserved a second chance. He also took into consideration the fact that she had spent more than a month in prison in Nicosia, the capital, after retracting her initial rape claims, and that since then she had been compelled to remain on the island after her passport was confiscated. That meant she had to forego a university place in the autumn. "This has led me to decide to give her a second chance and I’m suspending the sentence for three years." The judge also said the teenager had suffered grievously because of the intense publicity surrounding the case. “But these factors are not so big as to not apply the law,” said Mr Papathanasiou. If the woman committed another crime within three years in Cyprus, then she would find herself back in court, he said. The British teenager outside the court complex where she was found guilty of public mischief Credit: AP The teenager’s mother appeared on the steps of the court complex after the sentence was handed down, facing a scrum of cameramen, photographers and journalists from Britain, Israel and Cyprus. Initially she could barely be heard above the chanting of activists, who shouted “We believe her” and “Mr Judge, shame on you, don’t you have a daughter too?” Braving wet and windy weather, they held placards which read “Israelis believe you”, “You are not alone” and “No means no.” The mother said she was immensely relieved by the suspended sentence but insisted her daughter had not made up the rape claim. “We’re just very relieved that she can go home and get the treatment she needs (for PTSD). It was impossible to know what to expect,” she told The Telegraph. On the steps of the court complex, she told the crowd of protesters: “I want to thank you for having belief and faith in her. You all turning up here is so appreciated.” As the young woman was driven away in a car, protesters chanted “We believe you, yes we do, we will always stand with you.” The teenager told the court she retracted her initial statement because she was placed under immense pressure by Cypriot detectives. She said much of it had been dictated to her by an investigating officer and pointed out that it was written in poor, ungrammatical English. No part of the seven-hour questioning was recorded by the police. She said officers threatened to arrest all her friends in Cyprus if she did not sign the statement. The case has strained relations between Britain and Cyprus, with campaigners in the UK calling for a boycott of the island as a holiday destination. British tourists account for nearly a third of the 3.9 million tourists who visit Cyprus each year. Lewis Power QC, one of the teenager’s lawyers, said the investigation and trial had exposed a “gaping chasm” in how Cyprus deals with rape cases. The teenager said she was gang-raped in the beach resort of Ayia Napa in July  Credit: AFP He said there were international ramifications for how police and prosecutors deal with alleged victims of serious sexual assault. The teenager had been “happy and gregarious” when she arrived in Cyprus last summer but had within days found herself being transformed “from being victim to being accused.” “She is adamant of her innocence and that she has told the truth. Whilst we welcome the fact that the sentence imposed today allows her to go home, we strongly contest the conviction and the fight for her innocence will go on regardless. “We will be appealing the conviction and will take this case to the Supreme Court of Cyprus and are prepared to fight this case all the way to the European Court of Human Rights.” The case had “highlighted a gaping chasm in the compassionate treatment of sexually assaulted female victims,” Mr Power said. “In this case there was a failure which led to a catastrophic situation with the victim finding herself as the accused. This case has far-reaching repercussions for women travelling abroad and has highlighted the need for appropriate representation.” Supporters said the fact that the woman was convicted of lying about the gang-rape was a “a disgrace”. “It’s a problem we face across the island,” Mine Atli, a Turkish Cypriot lawyer and women’s rights activist, told The Telegraph outside court. “There’s a belief that women are lying and that even if they are not, rapists don’t deserve long sentences. “This case should never have gone to court. It’s a disgrace that she was prosecuted and even more of a disgrace she was convicted.” The police should be investigated for their conduct in the case, and in particular their failure to record the teenager’s seven-hour questioning, she said. Irad Martsiano Tsaiger, an Israeli women’s rights activist, said: “This is still not justice. This case will not go away quietly.” Protesters chant in support of the teenager outside the court house in Paralimni Credit: AP She said many people suspected that the strong commercial links between Cyprus and Israel, particularly in the exploration of oil and gas reserves in the Mediterranean, played a role in the swift release of the Israeli men. “The boys were released very fast. They were not even investigated for uploading a video of one of them having sex with the girl. The police in Cyprus and Israel did nothing about that. The boys should have been prosecuted for revenge porn.” Sigal Kook Avivi, an Israeli human rights activist, said: “We are very worried that the conviction stands because it opens the door for the Israelis to sue her if they want to. “This is not an isolated case. We believe it has lessons for what happens to women all around the world.”
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Henry Cavill Slams Haters & Defends Girlfriend Natalie | E! News
May 15, 2021
dfzIaiKENnk
Don Lemon Clarifies Leaving CNN Remark He Made On-Air | E! News
May 15, 2021
vqnHp6_Kna4
Shanna Moakler Removes Travis Barker's Tattooed Name From Wrist | E! News
May 15, 2021
xtau0ZaV-Jc
Salt Bae's Beverly Hills Restaurant Nusr-Et a Gigantic Hit | TMZ
May 15, 2021
F-nO476Bbec
Tamika Mallory Says Activists Can't Ease Up After Chauvin Conviction | TMZ
May 14, 2021
TNsaNa5bB2U
Whoopi Goldberg's Shocked Ellen DeGeneres' Talk Show is Ending | TMZ
May 14, 2021
yYV2uk_kxBE
Sexual assault lawsuit against Kevin Spacey set to be dismissed | Page Six Celebrity News
May 14, 2021
XsUgmiSAT34
Jennifer Lawrence freaks out over Jennifer Lopez-Ben Affleck reunion | Page Six Celebrity News
May 14, 2021
J7JocMfYXiw
Prince Harry slams Joe Rogan over vaccination remarks | Page Six Celebrity News
May 14, 2021
Mj3yqnp1GaE
Yara Shahidi on Playing Tinker Bell and the Legacy of 'Black-ish'
May 16, 2021
LsvrVebv9JQ
Henry Golding was Excited to Play 'Period F--kboy' Mr. Elliot in 'Persuasion'
May 16, 2021
Am1ARO1JLGk
Anthony Mackie Talks Sebastian Stan's Shocking Tommy Lee Transformation
May 16, 2021
D4EdN5RHEMg
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
19
Nov
ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group H
Sydney FC - Shanghai SIPG
17
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Spain - Germany
14
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Germany - Ukraine
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Liverpool
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Aston Villa
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Valencia - Real Madrid
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Verona
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Bromwich Albion - Tottenham Hotspur
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Napoli
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Roma
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Inter Milan
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Juventus
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Borussia Monchengladbach
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Wolves
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Wolfsburg - Hoffenheim
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Valladolid - Athletic Bilbao
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Levante - Alaves
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Granada CF
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Torino - Crotone
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Villarreal
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bayern Munich
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Manchester United
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Sheffield United
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Cadiz
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Real Betis
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Augsburg - Hertha Berlin
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Stuttgart - Eintracht Frankfurt
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
RB Leipzig - SC Freiburg
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Rotherham - Preston NE
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Parma - Fiorentina
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Watford - Coventry
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Swansea City
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - QPR
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Derby County - Barnsley
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Luton
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Nottingham Forest - Wycombe Wanderers
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Fulham
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Sheffield Wednesday - Millwall
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Brentford - Middlesbrough
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Bournemouth
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Sevilla - Osasuna
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Benevento - Spezia
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Crystal Palace - Leeds
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Ferencvaros - Juventus
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Barcelona - Dynamo K.
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group A
Salzburg - Bayern Munich
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group D
Atalanta - Liverpool
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.