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20 October, 2019
 
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Israeli dozen exonerated in Ayia Napa case

Rape accuser in court to face charges of public mischief after police say she made false statements

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A British female, who was the accuser in the alleged gang rape in Ayia Napa, is expected to be formally charged with public mischief on Monday, while all twelve Israeli teens are no longer suspects and have been released from custody.

(Click here for an update to the story)

Police in the Republic of Cyprus have been investigating the case since July 17, when a 19-year-old tourist from the UK said she was gang raped right after midnight in a hotel room in Ayia Napa. Later that morning, police arrested twelve Israeli teens, aged 16 to 18, on suspicion of rape based on the woman’s complaint.

Investigators focused on some details of the accuser’s complaint after obtaining forensic evidence, suspecting some of her statements were neither accurate nor factual

But during the course of the investigation, five suspects were released based on lack of incriminating evidence, while on Sunday the remaining seven were freed after investigators suspected the rape accuser had made false statements to police.

According to leaked media reports on Sunday, investigators focused on some details of the accuser’s complaint after obtaining forensic evidence, suspecting some of her statements were neither accurate nor factual. After police pressured the complainant over apparent gaps in her story, she reportedly admitted that she had altered some facts in her allegations.

Hazing incident was "not rape"

Investigators had established that the girl had consensual sex with three Israeli teens, essentially confirming reports that had been leaked previously to the media. It was reported that she told police that after starting to be intimate with one of the suspects, others barged in and held her down, laughing, while she was being raped and sexually assaulted.

Accuser felt angry and violated

But on Sunday she reportedly admitted to investigators that she felt angry and violated upon realizing that others had been recording video of the sexual encounters without her consent. Additional reports suggested that she was then kicked out of the room and sought help from other British guests at the hotel, who encouraged her to file a police complaint.

Reports said police arrived to the conclusion on Sunday morning that there had been no rape or sexual assault crimes committed during the incident.

According to Kathimerini Cyprus, attorney Yaniv Habari, who represented some of the suspects, was quoted in the press as saying he believed the rape accuser had changed her version of the story during the course of the investigation, prompting police to question the veracity of her allegations.

What's next

Additional media reports raised the possibility that some of the suspects might take legal action against the rape accuser, who is expected to be charged on Monday following her arrest the previous day. Sources told Knews she is not expected to be remanded in custody, while investigators are expected to seek additional statements from the woman's social environment.

Following the release of the remaining seven suspects, the teens and their families celebrated with a dance outside the Famagusta courtroom. All twelve suspects had maintaned their innocence from the beginning of the case.

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Cyprus  |  Ayia Napa  |  Britain  |  Israel  |  UK  |  rape  |  police  |  public mischief  |  false statement  |  hazing  |  sexual assault  |  Israeli dozen  |  hotel  |  resort

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