The Supreme Court has confirmed the conviction of a man who committed sex crimes against a young girl, saying the fact that he was also a minor during the early years of the abuse did not mean his sentence was excessive.
According to local media, a 28-year-old man was convicted to seven years in prison on sexual molestation charges in connection with a case involving a young victim, a female who was 5 years old when the abuse had began and lasted until she was 14.
The man, who was sexually molesting the girl when he was 14 and until he was 23 years old, appealed the length of his sentence, with his lawyer arguing that the plaintiff was also a minor during some of the crimes.
But the appellate judges, who said the young age of the perpetrator had its own significance in the matter, ruled that the criminal court did not ignore the mitigating circumstances.
Many appeal cases have been rejected, with some plaintiffs even getting longer sentences yet others winning the appeal on grounds of getting an unfair trial
“While the offences perpetrated by the plaintiff started when he was 14 and continued for five years when he was still a minor, he carried on with his abhorrent acts for four more years after he became an adult,” the appellate judges said.
According to details in the case, the victim started to realize the nature of the man’s behavior when she was 12 years old, nine years after the abuse had began.
“This is the time she started to avoid him and wouldn’t reply to his messages, which he continued to send to her,” the judges observed, adding that the girl would injure herself while refusing to seek mental health support.
But the judges also noted that the plaintiff admitted to the crimes early on during the trial, after a police officer had taken the witness stand, with his guilty plea making it unnecessary for the girl to testify in court.
“We find that the imposed sentence cannot in any way be viewed as excessive, as it is within the parameters set by the penal code and reflects the abhorrence of society towards such crimes,” the judges concluded.
A debate is ongoing in Cyprus over a number of appeals involving convictions of sexual crimes, including cases where victims were minors at the time of the abuse.
Many appeal cases have been rejected by the Supreme Court, while some plaintiffs ended up getting longer sentences on additional charges yet others winning the appeal after getting an unfair trial.