A 47-year-old man who sexually abused an underaged child has been sentenced to 12 years in prison after the Limassol Criminal Court found him guilty on all charges.
The court proceedings were held behind closed doors, with the accused found guilty of the offences of sexually abusing and corrupting a young woman under the age of 13 and sexually abusing and corrupting a child over the age of 13.
The Limassol Criminal Court imposed concurrent prison sentences of 12 and 10 years for the above charges.
The offences were carried out between January 2020 and July 2021.
Furthermore, an order was issued by the Court prohibiting the accused from working or living near places where children are present or frequent for 15 years from the date of his release from prison.
The Court ordered the 47-year-old to be put under observation for three years after his release.
According to reports, the man, who was a neighbour of the victim, has allegedly confessed to grooming the young girl into believing that he would marry her.
A girl’s relative noticed the accused’s strange behaviour when he was around the girl and informed her parents.
After talking to her, the parents could get the girl to confide the truth.
Subsequently, the case was reported to the Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Office of the Police Headquarters.
Finding the Prosecution witnesses credible, the Court, in its lengthy ruling, said: “Sexual crimes, by their very nature, reduce and destroy human dignity, degrading the human condition of the victim, often irreparably and unpredictably stigmatizing their life and their mental health.
“Offences “f sexual exploitation of children constitute serious violations of the fundamental rights of children, in terms of protection and care, which are necessary for their well-being”.
The Court argued the justice system has “a responsibility, with the penalties they impose for such offences, always in the context of the particularities of each case, to contribute to the protection of children from such unacceptable and reprehensible behaviour”.
Cyprus’ justice system has been getting tougher on child abusers as cases increase.
Last month, the Supreme Court approved an appeal filed by Attorney General George Savvides overturning an “insufficient” prison sentence handed to a man convicted of sexually abusing a minor, increasing jail time from nine to 13 years.