A man has been sentenced to eight years for the rape of a young British woman, who said she was raped after being driven in a dark remote area outside Ayia Napa last year.
According to local media, an unnamed 32-year-old male was on Wednesday handed down an 8-year prison sentence by a Famagusta-Larnaca criminal court, following his conviction a month earlier on charges of rape and illegal possession of marijuana.
The incident took place on 26 June 2019, when the rape victim said she was walking home early in the morning around 3am when a man approached her just outside her place of residence, an apartment complex where she had been staying with two female friends.
Reports said the British woman, a temporary waitress who had just finished her shift at a local bar in the resort town, recognised the man as someone who was working in the area and had told her he was looking to buy laughing gas for his friends.
The woman reluctantly agreed to smoke a joint while telling him she wanted to go home, feeling threatened but not knowing how the man would react
The man, who was not named in any reports while the Cyprus News Agency described him as a foreign national, offered to take the woman in his car in order to buy balloons and laughing gas. The woman agreed to go with him and at one point, the man pulled out under his seat a bag of marijuana. She then realised she was being driven in a remote area and messaged her location to a friend, which ended up being Sotira just west of Ayia Napa.
After the two got out of the car, the woman told the court that she reluctantly agreed to smoke a joint while telling him she wanted to go home. She also said she felt threatened but did not know the man would react.
The man at one point grabbed the woman and threw her on the guardrail, according to the victim, who said she started to cry and screaming she wanted to go home.
During the trial, the judges heard that the man proceeded to rape the woman as she kept crying.
The man told the judges that sex was consensual but judges found him to be unreliable.
According to court details, her flatmates said she was “very upset” after the man drove the victim back to her place.
“She was crying and her hair was messy, and she didn’t speak for a long time,” one of her friends told investigators.
A month after the rape incident, another British woman alleged she was raped by a group of Israelis in a hotel room in Ayia Napa. The case made headlines around the world and drew criticism over the way police and the courts treated the rape accuser.
The woman, 19 at the time, was also working at a local bar on a holiday programme and had a summer fling with one of the suspects. But after filing a complaint, she later signed a statement retracting her story.
No rape trial ever took place but a judge found the accusations were unsubstantiated, while the woman said she was coerced by investigators to retract the rape allegations. She was later convicted on public mischief charges for lying to the police.