The Supreme Court has upheld the sentence of an elderly man who was convicted of having paid sex with a teenage girl, with the bench declaring that punishment for sexual crimes against children ought to be severe as well as act as a deterrent.
According to local media, a man in his 70’s from Famagusta district appealed his 14 year sentence, after he was convicted by a criminal court on multiple charges in a child rape case.
A criminal court had previously found the man guilty of carrying out lewd acts upon the body of a child as well as rape of a minor through child prostitution, while additional charges included kidnapping a minor and child grooming.
Authorities got wind of the case back in 2018 when police officers spotted a teenage girl from Moldova inside the vehicle of the suspect, who had parked his car on a dirt road in a remote area in Famagusta in the early evening.
The man had told patrol officers that they were lost and that the high school girl was a relative whom he was driving to Ayia Napa, but the cops became suspicious after seeing a lubricant and a type of viagra pills in the backseat.
One day he offered a lot more money for sex, with the girl initially refusing to have intercourse and him threatening to stop giving her any money, according to details in the case
After officers offered the girl a ride, she reportedly started crying in the patrol vehicle and told police she had met with the man to have sex in exchange for money. She also said he had met him a couple of years earlier completely by chance in the courtyard of a church at the village where she had been staying with her sister after losing their father.
According to details heard in court, the man was giving the two girls money and had even offered to drive the victim to school, while in late 2016 she transported the minor unbeknownst to her mother to a village in Nicosia.
Earlier that year, according to details heard in court, the man had carried out lewd and indecent acts upon the girl’s body, with local media saying he grabbed her legs and then touched her private parts over her clothes.
The man also drove the girl to different locations across at least two districts where he carried out more indecent acts in exchange for money, food, clothes, and other items. One day he offered a lot more money for sex, with the girl initially refusing to have intercourse and him threatening to stop giving her any money, according to details in the case.
“Well, okay, be like that, helpless and penniless,” the man told the girl, according to details heard in court.
The Supreme Court had initially received an appeal for the man’s conviction but his lawyer told the bench his client was only appealing the length of the sentence, which he found to be excessive. The longest sentence was 14 years for sexual intercourse with a minor through child prostitution, a crime punished with up to 25 years in prison. All other lesser sentences were running concurrently.
“The plaintiff exploited the economic hardship and other serious problems, including the fact that the girl had lost her father, managing to use the power he had with money to satisfy his sexual urges on her body, which he used as a sexual object,” the Supreme Court judges said.
While acknowledging the attorney’s position that his client had indeed admitted his “abhorrent” behavior, the judges pointed out that the case was discovered only by chance and his crimes were uncovered after a police patrol drove by to check on the girl.