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Cyprus

Sexual abuse hearing adjourned until June 17

By Staff Reporter

The Larnaca hearing into alleged sexual abuse of minors against Nicos Nicolaou, 35, and Akis Lefkaritis, 57, was postponed on Wednesday until June 17.

During Wednesday’s proceedings defence lawyers told the court they had only received the prosecution’s completed written text with the details of the case in the morning and did not have time to study it before the hearing. They asked for time to prepare for mitigation of sentencing.

One of the lawyers said there appeared to be a number of divergences in the prosecution’s account and time was needed to go through them.

The court adjourned until June 17.

The position of the prosecution is that there was no question of divergences given that the two suspects had last week pled guilty.

Lefkaritis, a Larnaca businessman, admitted two counts of sexually exploiting two girls, aged 14 and 15, on April 27, 2014. He also admitted to sexually exploiting the 14-year-old at various times between March and September last year, when she was 13. Lefkaritis pleaded guilty to one more count in connection with the 14-year-old between September 2013 and April this year.

Nicolaou pleaded guilty to six charges — four in connection with sexually exploiting a minor between March 2013 and April 2014, and one for corrupting a young woman aged between 13 and 16, an offense that took place on April 27, 2014. He also admitted to possession of cocaine and supplying a 15-year-old girl on the same date.

The two men were arrested on April 30 after the 15-year-old girl reported to the police that she had been raped and beaten by Nicolaou.

She told police she met the 35-year-old on Facebook and arranged to meet with him, only to be kidnapped and taken to his apartment.

The girl claimed she had been beaten and raped by the 35-year-old, while forced to take drugs.

A second girl, 14, came to the man’s apartment and had asked to be paid for sexual services, police were told.

Nicolaou took both girls to an apartment in Larnaca where they were joined by Lefkaritis who also had sex them.

Sexual exploitation is the most serious charge the two defendants faced, carrying a sentence of up to 20 years in jail.

In light of this, state prosecutors withdrew other charges, which carried lesser maximum sentences.

 

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