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Cyprus

Rape priest’s appeal rejected, sentence upheld

An appeals court in Nicosia rejected a priest’s appeal against his conviction for the rape of his niece citing DNA evidence.

The court upheld the 10-year sentence imposed on the priest in February 2014 after sperm found on the woman’s sheets contained DNA matching his.

The priest, who was 54 years old at the time of his conviction, was found guilty of the rape of the 26-year-old daughter of his brother. The court at the time heard he had persuaded the woman, who lived in Nicosia, to return to the village, in Nicosia district to look after her sick father, accommodating her in a caravan.

According to her statement read in court during her trial, the woman said “one night in late May 2013 the complainant was in her room when the uncle visited started talking to her and then proceeded to massage her back which resulted in her falling asleep. It was then that she began to think that perhaps her uncle saw her as a woman.”

At around midday the following day, the woman went to have a shower after which the priest appeared in her room wearing his boxer shorts and a half open shirt.

Sitting next to her on the bed he then started telling her about past girlfriends he had and talking about things of a sexual nature.

Before the woman had a chance to react he grabbed her by the hands, pinning her to the bed face-up while lying on top of her. He then started kissing her lips and fondling her breasts, backside and all her body. She reacted by pushing him and telling him to leave but the cleric continued unabated and raped her.

The complainant reported the case to the police a few days later, delivering the bedsheet which played a catalytic role in the decision of the appeals court.



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