A secondary education teacher who was accused of sexually harassing several teenage students has been suspended from his post at a state school.

According to Cyprus Mail information, the Limassol based teacher was suspended with pay for three months earlier this week, about three weeks after the first student reported him for sexual harassment.

Meanwhile, the case was referred to the criminal court on Wednesday, which will hold a hearing on December 15, media reported on Thursday.

The 59-year-old teacher is faced with 38 charges related to sexual exploitation of a child under 15 and sexual harassment of a child. He was released on bail and is required to present himself to a police station every day, the reports said.

A source within the education ministry said it follows such cases very closely and “all the procedures based on the relevant legislation are followed in such cases provided there is evidence.”

The education ministry refers the case to the education service commission; the independent authority which in turn orders the suspension of the educator under investigation.

Suspension is a temporary measure to protect public interest until the case is resolved.

Under the relevant legislation and depending on the individual case, a teacher can be suspended for up to three months with the provision to be extended for another three. An indefinite suspension is also stipulated if necessary.

The suspended teacher must receive at least half of their salary when suspended. If they are proven to be innocent, the salary is returned, and they are reinstated in their position.

Investigations into the specific secondary education teacher started with the complaint of one of his students in mid-November, after which about ten others came forward with similar complaints.