Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

‘Child molester pardoned to live in same area as victim’

The central prison in Nicosia

The head of a children’s watchdog charged on Tuesday that the state had pardoned a man convicted of sexually abusing a minor and he is now free, living without supervision in the same neighborhood as his victim.

Anastasia Papadopoulou, the head of the council for the implementation of the national strategy to fight sexual abuse and exploitation of children and child pornography, posted on Facebook that a presidential pardon had been granted at the recommendation of the attorney-general to a child molester.

By doing so, she said, the procedures where paedophiles are put under supervision were bypassed.

According to Papadopoulou, the law mandates that newly-released convicts are put under supervision to prevent them from reoffending but nothing of the sort was done in this case.

This process was bypassed in this case, she said, and the court did not impose supervision when sentencing and the responsible authority was never informed of the premature release.

“No restrictive or protective measure has been imposed,” she said.

Papadopoulou said the victim, now an adult, knew of the release when she heard the celebrations for the return of the offender to the neighbourhood.

“And now she dreads the time she will see him before her. No one informed her. Once more, no one protected her.”

The woman had suffered sexual abuse for four years at the hands of the man and his wife, Papadopoulou said. The wife was never charged with any offence and is still employed at a school, she added.

The victim spoke of her ordeal with help from other people, managing to stand before a court where she went through a lot “because we told her break your silence and we will be there as a state and as society.

“Let us think for a while how she felt when she heard the return celebration and how she feels every time she stands at the door and contemplates daring to go out.”

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