Cyprus Mail

Former high ranking cleric to stand trial for rape

File photo: Larnaca Court

Former Kiti bishop Chrysostomos will stand trial for rape on April 26, state broadcaster CyBC reported on Monday.

The clergyman appeared before Larnaca district court on Monday, which referred him direct to trial before Larnaca-Famagusta criminal court.

The hearing was held behind closed doors and lasted only a few minutes.

The clergyman, who was accompanied by his lawyer, was released on €50,000 bail and handed in his travel documents.

The case stems from a complaint filed by a woman, which took place at his place of work between April 1 and 30, 2011.

He is also due to appear before court for a case of indecent assault of a woman that was allegedly committed in November 1981. At the time, the woman was underage.

Police filed the case in court on Monday and the trial date for that second case was set for June 8.

Police are investigating more than 20 sexual harassment and abuse cases, including one against a former MEP, and from the world of sport and the arts. Some cases are already before court.

A special team of officers has been investigating the complaints, filed recently after Greek athlete Sophia Bekatorou spoke out publicly about her rape by a senior member of the Hellenic sailing federation back in 1998.

Bekatorou paved the way for people who were sexually abused to break their silence, with a domino effect of harassment reports in Greece and in Cyprus.

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