Athletics coach pleads not guilty to sexual abuse

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A Cypriot track and field coach accused of sexually abusing four former female athletes when they were underaged has pleaded not guilty to charges before a Criminal Court in Larnaca.

The trial hearing has been set for 5 July, with the coach facing up to 20 years in prison if he is found guilty of the crimes of sexually abusing a minor and other indecent assault charges.

Around 20 witnesses are listed on the indictment, a number that could increase when the trial begins in July.

The hearing will be conducted in open court as neither party requested it be held behind closed doors; however, during the trial, this could be requested to protect the victims’ identity.

Cyprus Law Office also gave the green light for the criminal prosecution of a politician accused of sexually assaulting a younger woman now 32.

The alleged offences were committed when the complainant was 24.

Complaints of sexual harassment in Cyprus have climbed sharply following Olympic shooter Andri Eleftheriou reporting a sports official for historical sexual abuse.

Police are now looking into an avalanche of historical sexual abuse cases also involving a doctor, basketball coach, theatre director and former bishop that have surfaced.

Legal services are currently preparing to submit to court the case regarding the complaint filed by Eleftheriou.

Another four shooters say the same person harassed them.

Police said that they had investigated 23 sexual abuse cases in the first three months of the year, with 10 investigations still ongoing.