The colour of the sofa in former Kiti bishop Chrysostomos’ office continued to be at the centre of his defence on Friday as proceedings over an alleged sexual assault continued at Larnaca criminal court.
On Wednesday, the court had visited the ex-bishop’s office as part of efforts to understand the layout of his office. The 57-year-old woman who initiated the case against the bishop, said he had assaulted her in 1981 when she was 16. In her report, she said the sofa in which he allegedly assaulted her, was burgundy.
Nonetheless, the bishop’s defence maintains the colour of the sofa at the time was beige with a floral pattern. His lawyers presented dated photographs during Friday’s court session of the ex-bishop with political persons and dignitaries, illustrating the colour was beige.
He maintains the colour change to burgundy happened after the alleged assault.
The plaintiff claims that during her first visit to Chrysostomos’ office at the Kiti bishopric, the bishop sat down beside her on a sofa and began touching her hands. He allegedly assaulted her on her fifth visit when the cleric shoved her, pressed himself on top of her and kissed her on the lips. She began repeatedly screaming “let me out,” at which point she claimed the bishop got off her and opened the door.
She pressed charges in 2021 – 40 years after the alleged incident.
Last summer the defendant’s defence lawyers had argued the 84-year-old lacked the mental capacity to follow legal proceedings, but the court denied the motion.
In October last year, Larnaca criminal court acquitted Chrysostomos in another sexual abuse case, after a woman accused him of raping her in his office in April 2011.