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03 February, 2023
 
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Accused bishop picks apart sexual assault charges

Larnaca judge pauses trial to allow time for prosecution to accept or challenge newly introduced evidence

Newsroom

Former Kition bishop Chrysostomos fired back at his female accuser on Monday, when he presented new evidence during a sexual assault trial and further criticized both police and prosecutors for ignoring his side of the story.

Chrysostomos Macheriotis, who served as Kition bishop for 45 years, vehemently denied sexual assault accusations launched by a woman who says he sexually assaulted her in November 1981 in his office at the Holy Diocese of Kition when she was just 16 years old.

Earlier this year the now-57-year-old plaintiff told the court that she felt something was amiss during her initial visit, when she “sat down on a maroon sofa” and Chrysostomos sat next to her.

But the former bishop presented a photo album of his office layout in 1981 which showed he had a beige sectional sofa in his office, adding that maroon furniture had not been added until after remodeling work in 1990.

“The maroon sofa was there in 2011 when the other lady came to visit me, the one who accused me of so-called rape, an allegation of which I have been proven innocent,” the bishop said.

The former bishop presented a photo album of his office layout in 1981 which showed he had a beige sectional sofa in his office, adding that maroon furniture had not been added until 1990

In October 2021 Chrysostomos was acquitted of rape charges after a criminal court found another female accuser made contradictory statements and outlandish allegations during a closed trial.

But the bishop also had some harsh words for law enforcement and state prosecutors, saying police investigators “never inquired about details and a lot of other evidence I had mentioned.”

Chrysostomos also took issue with the state prosecutor, whom he thanked twice for specific questions she had asked her own client, with the bishop claiming that the plaintiff’s answers proved “her own contradictions.”

State prosecutor Anna Yiallourou has yet to agree for the photo album to be entered into evidence, with the judge giving her a deadline until November 2 to decide if she would challenge the new information.

Earlier this year the accuser also said that Chrysostomos had shown her a photo of himself with his arms around two blond women inside a cable car in Switzerland.

The bishop, who often veered off his written remarks, told the court he had been to that country only once to promote a hotel owned by an orphanage and further stated that he had “never used a cable car.”

“I say in the strongest and most categorical manner that I am innocent and that I am being accused unjustly,” Chrysostomos said.

Figment of sick imagination and perjury

The bishop also refuted claims made by the plaintiff’s sister, who claimed she had secretly recorded a phone conversation with Chrysostomos while pretending to be her sibling.

“I never met or had any contact with this person. I also need to emphasize that I have never been on the phone or in contact with her mother or sister, contrary to what they falsely claim in court,” he said.

“This is figment of a sick imagination and perjury,” Chrysostomos said.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  Larnaca  |  bishop  |  Kition  |  Chrysostomos  |  sexual assault  |  rape  |  trial  |  evidence  |  court

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