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Cyprus

Appeals court overturns rape appeal 

The Cypriot appeals court has upheld the eight-year sentence of a 36-year-old man who raped a 20-year-old British waitress in Ayia Napa in 2019, it emerged on Tuesday.

A criminal court had found that he had raped the waitress, who had arrived in Cyprus a month before, after he had driven her to a secluded spot and given her cannabis and laughing gas.

According to the court decision, the now-24-year-old woman, who has not been identified, knew the then-32-year-old man as someone who worked in the nearby area.

She got into his car after he approached her on June 26, 2019, as she was looking to consume laughing gas, and trusted him and felt safe, while she never had the intention or expectation of having sex with him.

As they drove, the man pulled out some cannabis, and she realised he was driving to an unknown spot.

She texted her location to her friend when they stopped in an area in Sotira, near Ayia Napa, as she was afraid.

After consuming laughing gas and cannabis, she asked to be taken back to her flat, but as she tried to leave, the man grabbed her. She told the court that she was terrified and did not know what would happen to her if she fought back.

Following the rape, the man dropped her off at her flat, where her roommate found her upset. The roommate described that the woman was crying and dishevelled, and she didn’t speak for a long time.

The court issued an eight-year-prison sentence, which the man then appealed.

The attacker, identified in local media only as IK, claimed that he did not get a fair trial, as he was given a bad translator.

But the Court of Appeal ruled that this issue was fixed during his initial trial, and that he was an unreliable witness, saying his testimony ‘contained many contradictions, indeterminacy, evasions, and lies.’

He also claimed that she had in fact consented, which the judges rejected, saying: at no stage of the process did [the waitress] accept the perpetrator’s position that with her body language, she invited him to follow her, nor did she accept at any stage of the testimony that, while in his car, she had her legs open or that she fondled IK’s leg or that she used her tongue sexually.

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