A 37-year-old man was sentenced by the Nicosia criminal court to six years in prison on Friday after being found guilty for sexually abusing his wife’s 10-year-old niece.
The suspect, who was found guilty in 22 counts relating to sexual offences committed between May 2015 and May 2016, was sentenced to six years for sexual abuse and 15 months for indecent assault. His sentences will run concurrently.
The Criminal court said that it found that the behaviour of the 37-year-old to the 10-year-old girl, was “perfectly consistent with the profile of a paedophile who targets a child, ensures time (with it) without parental involvement, meets the needs of the child, isolates and sexualises his behaviour and gains control (over it)”.
The judge said that the maximum penalty for the offense of sexual abuse of a child when the abuser takes advantage of the trust of the victim, as in this case, is life imprisonment.
She also stressed the need for imposing stricter and more deterrent penalties, as the biggest number of cases tried by the criminal court concern sexual abuse of children.
The court said that, in the case of the 37-year-old, it found as an aggravating factor that his goal was none other than making the victim subject to his own sexual desires by using the family relations of his wife with the girl’s mother as first cousins, and won the trust of the child as a person of her wider family environment.
It also took under consideration that the abuse was taking place for a long period of time and that the 37-year-old’s “ultimate goal was sexual intercourse with the minor, for which he prepared the ground”.
“It is particularly regrettable that a girl at the tender age of ten or eleven loses her childhood innocence and her psychological as well as sexual development is interrupted in the most unwholesome way by the intervening in all areas of her life by her paedophile uncle,” the judge said.
She added that the girl’s need for paternal love was being taken advantage by the suspect and was turned into “a relationship of dependence and submission to the appetites and desires of the accused”.
The man was arrested after he was reported by the staff of a fast food place who saw him hugging and kissing the girl. The 37-year-old, according to the court, gained the mother’s and the girl’s trust thus seeing her more often on the pretext of helping with her homework.
He secretly gave her presents, handwritten notes, took photos and video and exchanged phone messages daily.
He took her for walks, shopping, and the beach, alone, without her mother and his wife knowing they would be alone. He took her to secluded places in Nicosia where he usually carried out the sexual acts and did the same when at the beach, ultimately aiming at achieving full sexual contact with her.
The court said that it took into consideration that the 37-year-old expressed the wish to undergo therapy to avoid exhibiting similar behaviour in the future.