A 70-year-old man was found guilty by the Nicosia criminal court on Monday for sexually abusing his nine-year-old granddaughter.
He was found guilty of 40 counts relating to indecent assault and sexual abuse of a minor between June 2014 and August 2015.
The court heard that his granddaughter was nine when the abuse began and over the time period, the offences took place 20 times in his bedroom.
Due to the nature of the charges and the young age of the girl, the court hearings took place behind closed doors.
Two of the bench members who had voted against finding him guilty said the prosecution had failed to prove its case and that the girl’s testimony could not be trusted as she ‘had lied’ and that contradictions in her statements made her accusations unreliable.
Nevertheless, the majority of the bench found that the gaps in her statements were understandable due to her young age and the traumatic events she experienced for over a year.
The young girl had spoken of her sexual abuse to her school teacher and had to repeat her statements another five times to the school principle, police, a social worker, a clinical psychologist and before the court therefore it was understandable they wouldn’t all be the same, court said.
A psychological evaluation found the sexual abuse at her grandfather’s home had psychologically affected her.
As a result of the abuse, the girl was also “driven to incestuous games with her brother who is four years older than her”, the court said. The two no longer live under the same roof.
The grandfather was deemed unreliable and two defence witnesses – his wife and one of his daughters, had only revealed partial truths and thus could not be trusted, the decision also said.
The court will re-convene on July 21 for mitigation and the 70-year-old will remain in custody until then.