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12° Nicosia,
26 September, 2023
 
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Former Kition Bishop handed suspended sentence for assault on a minor

Chrysostomou of Kition has vehemently denied the charges of indecent assault on a minor that happened 42 years ago

The former Bishop of Kition was today handed a 12-month suspended sentence after being found guilty of indecent assault on a woman 41 years ago when she was just 16 years and 8 months old.

During the previous proceedings, the former Bishop of Kition's lawyer, Michalis Piki, requested a reduction in his client's sentence. The defense cited mitigating factors such as the defendant's clean criminal record and old age, as he is set to turn 85 years old on June 8. They also referred to relevant case law and requested leniency from the Court.

The defense lawyer argued that due to the defendant's advanced age, there is no risk of him committing another offense. Additionally, he mentioned the possibility of extrajudicial punishment, as the Holy Synod may depose the former Bishop of Kition, imposing its own form of discipline.

Michalis Pikis also highlighted the charitable work undertaken by the accused, pointing out his involvement in organizations such as the Association for the Fight against Hunger, the Association for the Fight against Drugs in Larnaca, and the KENTHEA, as further mitigating factors.

Furthermore, the former Bishop is expected to face disciplinary action from the Holy Synod, which will convene to determine his punishment for the committed actions.

The complainant's statement detailed the events that transpired in the autumn of 1981 following her father's death. She explained that, prompted by family friends, she sought financial assistance from the then Bishop's fund for orphans.

According to her testimony, the former Bishop of Kition began harassing her during this time. She recounted that he would arrange meetings on Saturday afternoons when his staff was absent and personally welcome her into his office after opening the door of the Cathedral.

The complainant revealed that during these meetings, she sensed that something was amiss and did not wish to continue attending. However, subsequent meetings took place, culminating in the alleged incident of indecent assault by the Bishop.

Feeling panicked, she immediately informed her mother after leaving the location. She expressed her torment over not having reported the former Bishop at the time and eventually decided to come forward when another complaint against him surfaced.

During the court proceedings, the former Bishop Chrysostomou of Kition vehemently denied the accusations, stating, "I strongly and categorically deny all the false claims made by the complainant in court, including the alleged indecent assault in my office 41 years ago and the supposed meetings held to provide her with financial assistance."

[With information source from 24News]

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