Cyprus Mail

Former bishop prays every night for ‘false accuser’ to be forgiven

Former Bishop of Kition (left) with then Bishop Georgios of Paphos (Photo: Christos Theodorides)

Former Kiti Bishop Chrysostomos said he is “praying every night” that God forgives the woman who, he said, falsely accused him of assaulting her back in 1981 when she was a minor.

The centre of the former bishop’s defence is the colour of the sofa in his office which he claims was different than what the plaintiff has mentioned.

During his re-examination before the Larnaca criminal court on Tuesday, Chrysostomos said the burgundy sofa, where the 57-year-old plaintiff said the alleged sexual assault took place, was placed in his office after 1990.

The bishop’s defence maintains the colour of the sofa at the time was beige with a floral pattern.

To prove this, the ex-bishop presented a receipt of payment from the then maker of the sofa who could not be located.

His lawyers have also presented dated photographs of the ex-bishop with political persons and dignitaries, illustrating the colour was beige.

But the defence claimed on Tuesday that the photographs showing the bishop were taken in July 1989 but other photographs, showing the layout of his office, were taken before or around the period in question, meaning they were not taken after 1985.

During the hearing, the former bishop accused the plaintiff and her witnesses of lying.

“The complainant never came to the Bishopric. She and her sister and her mother and her doctor are lying. The complainant is lying and perjuring herself.

“I pray every night for her that God will forgive her”.

The plaintiff claims that during her first visit to Chrysostomos’ office at the Kiti bishopric, the bishop sat down beside her on the 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.

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