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Cyprus

Stepfather of ‘forgotten’ teen who sent plea to president is arrested

The stepfather of a 14-year-old boy who is suspected of beating the teen and his mother was arrested on Thursday afternoon.

The stepfather is facing charges of issuing threats against the 14-year-old and his mother as well as misusing government resources.

He had himself filed 45 complaints to authorities against the boy and his mother, alleging that the teen had sexually abused his four-year-old half-brother.

The boy who was then left forgotten for almost a month in a state shelter for minors while the case was being investigated, and the allegations ultimately not proven, had written to the president for help.

In his letter to the president, the boy said that he was from Donetsk, Ukraine and his mother met the man who later became his stepfather there and they had a baby in 2013. After war broke out in Donetsk in 2014, he said, the man suggested they move temporarily to Cyprus until things cooled down in Ukraine. On their arrival, the family stayed at the man’s apartment but soon after, he became verbally and physically abusive, the boy said in his letter, both to his mother and him.

“This gentleman used to slap me but was unfortunately also violent against my mother whom he used to beat almost daily in front of me and my brother,” he said.

Despite the fact that all 45 of the man’s reports against them had proven to be lies, the boy said, “no one is helping us to be free of all this torment for four years now, even though they all know the truth.”

He added that although he was promised by authorities that the investigation would be a swift one, “they have forgotten all about me”.

Justice Minister, Ionas Nicolaou, intervened in the case earlier this week and the family was informed that the boy could leave the shelter. Nicolaou said that he has also asked the competent services to look into the behaviour of the stepfather.

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