British teenager found guilty of lying about Cyprus gang-rape

The woman covered her face as she left the court

Monday, December 30, 2019

A British woman has been found guilty of lying about being gang raped in Cyprus.

The 19-year-old, who cannot be named, claimed she was attacked by up to 12 Israeli tourists in an Ayia Napa hotel on July 17 but retracted the statement 10 days later

In court she maintained that she had been raped but said she was pressured to change her story by Cypriot police.

Today a judge ruled that there had been “no rape or violence”, saying the teenager had made the claim after feeling “embarrassed” by being filmed having sex.

Judge Michalis Papathanasiou said: “The defendant gave police a false rape claim, while having full knowledge that this was a lie.

“The reason why she initially gave false statements was because she realised that she was being recorded while she was having sexual intercourse and so she was placed in a difficult position and felt embarrassed.”

She nodded her head slightly as she was found guilty of one count of public mischief at Famagusta District Court in Paralimni.

She remains on bail until sentencing on January 7, where she could face up to a year behind bars and a €1,700 (£1,500) fine.

The teenager was a week into a working holiday the summer before she was due to start university when she made the allegations.

All 12 of the men arrested returned home after release and none of them gave evidence during this trial.

The woman's legal team criticised the judge's refusal to consider evidence of the alleged rape.

Her lawyers said the video found on some of the Israelis' mobile phones showed her having consensual sex with one of the group while others try to enter the room as she tells them to leave.

Nicoletta Charalambidou, from the defence, said they plan to appeal against the verdict.

“We believe there have been many violations of the procedure and the rights of a fair trial of our client have been violated.

“We are planning to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court... and if justice fails we are planning to take our case to the European Court of Human Rights.”

But Nir Yaslovitzh, a lawyer representing some of the accused, welcomed the verdict.

He said: “I hope the court will find it appropriate to aggravate the punishment imposed on the girl, who refuses to this day to take responsibility for the horrible act she's done against the boys.”

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