A child protection NGO on Friday slammed a Paphos court decision to release a man suspected of molesting two sisters pending his trial, raising the risk of them seeing him on a daily basis.
The head of Foni, the council coordinating the implementation of the national strategy to combat sexual abuse and exploitation of children and child pornography, described as “incomprehensible” a court decision to release the 60-year-old man on bail despite him living in the same village as the girls, aged 18 and 13, today.
Anastasia Papadopoulou of Foni said the offences the suspect faced were punishable with up to life in prison and the restrictions cannot ensure the protection of the “victims since they will be seeing him on a daily basis when he goes to work. And this despite police and prosecution pleas in court.”
In a post on Facebook, Papadopoulou expressed the hope that the state would appeal the court decision.
The two women reported the man, who is the godfather of one, around 10 days ago. They accused him of molesting them for the past five years, when they were eight and 13 respectively.
Despite the state’s objections citing case law, the court released the man until the start of his trial before the criminal court on March 1.
The court judged there was no reasonable suspicion that he would flee the country and the restrictions placed to prevent his approach to areas where the sisters live or frequent were adequate.