A 52-year-old high school teacher has been sentenced to one year in prison after he was found guilty of sexual harassment, both physical and verbal, against female students.
According to media reports, the male teacher was fondling school girls in their early teens at a Larnaca state public school. The sexual offences were committed during the 2014-15 academic year.
The Larnaca District Court heard that the teacher would often sexually harass female students behind his desk, in such a way that he would not be seen by other students in the classroom.
"Eat well to have a nice booty"
Offences included both physical and verbal harassment of the girls, which included touching their buttocks and fondling their breasts, as well as telling them to “eat well to have a nice booty.”
The parents of the victims first filed complaints with the Education Ministry, reportedly to avoid embarrassment and undue stress on the girls. The trial took place in a closed session from the beginning all through the sentencing on Monday.
Offences included both physical and verbal harassment of the girls, which included touching their buttocks and fondling their breasts
This and other cases were referenced in the media back in May, when ruling party Disy MP Efthymios Diplaros said there were teachers involved in sexual abuse cases who faced no consequences.
Diplaros was criticised for speaking publicly on live television without presenting evidence, but the MP fought back saying public officials knew about sexual harassment cases and some even tried to convince people to go forward with their complaints. He also said he was aware of cases where teachers in public schools, who had been implicated in sexual abuse cases, were simply transferred to other schools and faced no consequences for their actions.
In one case, he revealed that the parents of a student held back because they were concerned that legal action could affect their child’s school grades.
“I informed everyone when I learned about this,” Diplaros said, adding that he could make public more cases if necessary.