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Cyprus

Supreme Court rejects appeal of rapist gynaecologist

By George Psyllides

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal filed by a Larnaca gynaecologist against his 26-year sentence for raping his patients and other offences.

Stelios Stylianou, 57 at the time, was jailed in March 2012 for the rape, indecent assault, and inhuman treatment and humiliation of his patients.

Stylianou pleaded guilty to 44 counts against 35 women, including a 15 and a 17-year-old: six rapes; 20 indecent assaults; 10 instances of cruel, inhuman and humiliating behaviour towards his patients (taking photographs); and eight instances of illegally drugging people to rape them.

The offences took place between July 2010 and October 2011.

The Supreme Court upheld the Criminal Court’s sentence, rejecting suggestions it was excessive. The court also rejected the defence’s arguments that his client had been suffering mental problems and had limited understanding. It also threw out the argument that because of his age today, 60, the 26-year imprisonment was devastating.

The three-member court said prevention was the most important aspect and age was not taken into account in cases of such severity.

There existed many aggravating factors, the court said, the first being his capacity as a doctor and the fact that there had been careful planning that included lying and deception, which he used to convince his victims they needed surgery and had to be put to sleep.

The Supreme Court described the defendant’s behaviour as a campaign of rape and sexual assaults and refused to consider his professional downfall as a mitigating factor.

Prosecutor Andreas Aristides said the fact that he had lost his licence could not be taken into account since it was his choice to turn his clinic into a place of sexual relief, exploiting his patients’ trust and ignoring the consequences on his profession.

Stylianou’s crime spree only came to an end when one of his patients woke up ten minutes into ‘surgery’ to discover she was tied with two cables leading up to her breasts with the naked doctor holding her hand on his penis. Stylianou told her at the time that she was hallucinating.

State pathologist Eleni Antoniou later confirmed that Stylianou had not operated on the woman at all and in fact she didn’t need an operation.

Police later confiscated 563 pictures of naked women on the doctor’s computers and camera and had secured 43 written testimonies from women.

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