Cyprus Mail

Australian man charged with child sexual abuse in Cyprus beach incident

File photo

A 57-year-old Australian man has been charged with engaging in sexual intercourse with a child in an abandoned beach in Protaras following international police cooperation.

The two are blood relatives who were on the island on holiday.

The investigation began on October 6 when Cyprus police received information from an eye witness that an adult male was allegedly sexually abusing a child on a deserted beach in the Famagusta district.

The suspect and the victim were unknown to the local authorities, but further enquiries identified the perpetrator as a 57-year-old Australian citizen vacationing in the island. Police said the victim was a 12-year-old child, also from Australia.

The Cypriot authorities immediately alerted the Australian Federal Police at the embassy in Beirut.

The AFP Beirut post contacted the competent authorities in Australia and within 24 hours, the man was arrested at his house on October 21.

On October 30, the perpetrator appeared before Brisbane Magistrates Court and was charged with one count of engaging in sexual intercourse with a child outside Australia. The maximum penalty for the offences is 25 years imprisonment.

The victim was moved from their place of residence in Australia for protection, since according to Australian investigators there is a biological relationship between the offender and the victim.

Meanwhile, actions are continuing on behalf of the Australian Federal Police Authorities and the Cyprus Police.

Police said the investigation of the case is considered “one of the greatest successes of the CID”. They also urged the public to co-operate with them and to report any suspicions relating to the sexual abuse of children immediately and promptly.

“The dedication and work of the police in this area is continuous and is evident from the increase in reports which has been consistent over the last three years. Any information received is assessed and investigated in confidence and is treated confidentially by investigators.”

For their part, the AFP also highlighted its commitment to combatting child exploitation, wherever this might occur.

“This arrest should serve as a warning that law enforcement is dedicated to fighting child sexual abuse and bringing those who commit these offences before the court no matter where they occur,” AFP Superintendent Sascha Austin said.

The superintendent praised Cypriot Kyriaki Lambrianidou and said the safeguarding sub-directorate of Cyprus Police remained dedicated in investigating such heinous crimes, and regardless of the origin of the perpetrator or the victim, efforts are systematic and ongoing.

“International police cooperation can save lives and souls, especially of the unprotected ones, such as children, and bring offenders to justice,” he added.

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