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Doctor guilty of indecent assault jailed for four months (Update)

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Dr Pavlos Antoniou was handed a four-month prison sentence by Nicosia district court on Monday after he was found guilty of assaulting a patient.

Antoniou is a gastroenterologist and showed “no remorse for his actions” the judge said.

Rather, he was more concerned over the impact to his career, and never apologised to the victim for his actions, the judge determined.

He was found guilty of four counts of indecent assault against his 23-year-old female patient at the time, which took place on August 28, 2020. Each charge carries a maximum five-year jail term.

The judge however passed a four-month prison time for each charge. The sentences will run concurrently and as such, he will serve four months behind bars.

His patient reported him for kissing her four times as she was waking up from anaesthesia after a colonoscopy.

“It was clear after the first kiss that she did not want this. But he did it again and again and again,” the judge said.

“He took advantage of her vulnerable state…and showed no respect. He was persistent to satisfy his appetite.”

The woman was lying on the hospital bed and unable to defend herself, and she had tried to get away from the clinic.

He was aged 50 at the time and told her “what am I supposed to do, you drive me crazy.”

The judge said “these are very serious charges, carried out in a hospital by a doctor who had a duty to protect her.

Antoniou was the doctor for both the woman and her mother for years. “She fully trusted him” but as a result of his actions, the woman suffered severe psychological issues, having panic attacks at night, often crying and unable to sleep.

Defence by ‘spiritual doctor’

The judge rejected his defence’s request to have a suspended sentence. He was represented by Phoebus, Christos Clerides & Associates.

“He has not asked for a second chance to redeem. He has not asked for forgiveness, neither from the victim or society.

“Such actions are not tolerated in society.”

This is not the first time Antoniou was reported of and found guilty of similar offences.

As part of the effort to mitigate the sentence, his lawyer presented a statement from Antoniou’s “spiritual doctor” saying Antoniou was a man of good standing that had suffered greatly from the ordeal.

The “spiritual doctor” is priest Vasilis Nikolaou who said Antoniou would not have been capable of the charges he faced.

The judge stressed this testimony will not be accepted in court.

Antoniou’s defence also argued that if he goes to prison, his patients will no longer have access to their doctor. Additionally, they argued his rights would be violated due to the overpopulation in prison.

His defence also raised the issue of his licence which he might be stripped of, following proceedings expected to follow by the Cyprus Medical Association’s disciplinary board which has pledged to look into the case.

After a huge uproar, Antoniou was struck off from Gesy.

 

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