A criminal court in Larnaca has found a man guilty of having unwanted sex with a teenage girl, after prosecutors proved the offender had used Instagram for child grooming and rape.
According to local media, a Larnaca criminal court on Monday found a 24-year-old man guilty on all eleven charges he was facing in connection with sexual abuse and rape against a 14-year-old girl.
The man was accused of having had sexual intercourse with the teenager five times in 2021 between mid September and mid October.
Details in the case suggested the sex offender, when he was 23, made contact with the young girl through Instagram in late September 2021, with the adult striking up conversations with the minor.
The defendant was also accused of verbalizing threats of violence against the victim, with the court finding that the perpetrator had done so because 'he knew she would not consent'
“Following several chats he had with her, he convinced her to meet and then he carried out abhorrent acts against her,” it was said in court.
The panel of judges said prosecutors argued successfully that the social networking app was used by the perpetrator “beyond any reasonable doubt for purposes of child grooming.”
Judges also justified the rape conviction by pointing to the absence of consent, saying the teenager had bowed to the will of the defendant.
“Consent must be genuine. Compliance or submission is not consent,” the judges said.
The defendant was also accused of verbalizing threats of violence against the victim, with the court finding that the perpetrator had done so because “he knew she would not consent.”
It also emerged that a dozen images and half a dozen videos of the teenager had been saved on a mobile phone belonging to the defendant, who was also found guilty of possession of child pornography.
Statutory rape prosecutions are not always automatically triggered in the Republic of Cyprus, where the age of consent is 17.
The next hearing on Monday is scheduled for hearing mitigating factors prior to sentencing.