Cyprus: British teen handed four-month sentence for gang rape claim

A friend of the teenager criticises the investigation

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

A British teenager found guilty of lying about being gang raped in Cyprus has been handed a four-month suspended jail sentence.

The 19-year-old, from Derbyshire, had claimed a 12-strong group of Israeli youths attacked her in a hotel room in Ayia Napa on July 17.

The woman maintains she was raped after having consensual sex with one of the men, but says she was forced to change her account under pressure from Cypriot police.

She was sentenced for public mischief at Famagusta District Court in Paralimni today, and left court weeping.

The judge told the court that the four-month sentence would be suspended for three years, and she is now free to return home.

Dozens of protesters gathered outside the court ahead of her sentencing.

Some chanted "Cyprus justice, shame on you", "stop blaming the victim" and "you are not alone".

Some held placards reading "we believe you" and "don't be afraid".

The dozen young men and boys, aged between 15 and 20 arrested over the incident were freed after the woman signed a retraction statement 10 days after making the allegations.

It came after she had faced hours of questioning alone and without legal representation.

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.

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