A fundraising project has raised over €22,000 in an effort to pay for legal fees for the British teen accused of making false statements to police in the Ayia Napa gang rape case.
The British female, whose allegations of gang rape led to the arrest of twelve Israeli teens and their subsequent release, is herself being accused of making false statements to police before reportedly withdrawing the rape allegations and being detained on public mischief charges.
A support group advocating for the girl’s release says the teen told friends that police forced her to retract rape allegations she had made against Israeli youths.
Cypriot police flatly denied any allegations of misconduct, saying the teen made additional statements retracting the rape complaint on her own volition.
One person identifying himself as an Israeli Jew donated €8000 hoping to help 'jump start her journey back home to her loving family'
Reports also said the British teen claimed that she was pressured into signing a false deposition, which was allegedly dictated to her by a female police officer, following hours of questioning and just prior to her arrest.
“We maintain that the statement was given under duress and in breach of her rights, resulting in the collapse of the initial investigation and charges of public mischief being made against her,” a statement on gofundme.com said.
The project called “Help Teen Victim Get Justice In Cyprus” was started by the teen’s parents and set up by a UK-based lawyer, John Hobbs, in order to protect the anonymity of the rape accuser.
"We just want to bring her home"
“She is alone in a prison abroad after an awful series of events, we just want to bring her home,” the statement added.
The British teen filed a complaint on July 17 telling cops she was raped by Israeli teens in a hotel room in Ayia Napa. Police never disclosed what was alleged in the complaint but media reports said the girl said she was being held down, sexually assaulted and raped, while others were filming the act without her consent.
All twelve suspects were released and flew back to Israel, with reports saying they denied rape allegations from the beginning. At least three of the suspects admitted having sexual intercourse with the female teen while others said they either did not do anything wrong or were not even in the room during the alleged incident.
Over 450 donors and supporters by Sunday night had donated money, mostly between 10 and 50 euro in just three days after the fundraising page was launched, with many Israeli citizens or people identifying themselves as Israeli or Jewish also making a donation.
One person, who identified himself as an Israeli Jew, donated €8000 saying “the behavior of the boys was undoubtedly full of mistakes, and shameful” while adding “I am sure their parents are working hard to correct their ways.” The donor, who was among the first to make a contribution, also said he hoped that the donation could help “jump start her journey back home to her loving family.”
Another person who donated just over €1000 wrote a comment saying that taking advantage of someone was a form of non-violent rape along with filming the act and distributing it.
Local lawyer Andreas Pittadjis, who took on the defence, withdrew from the case last week due to “serious disagreement with his client over the handling of the case.”
Pittadjis was reportedly quoted in the media as saying his former client was the victim of revenge porn while he did not deny she had made a false rape claim.
But British Lawyer Michael Polak, whose name came up in reports as a possible member on the girl’s legal team, says a confession for making a false statement was extracted unlawfully.
The next hearing will be an arraignment set for August 19, when the defendant will enter her plea on charges of public mischief. The teen is being held without bail until her trial, facing possible jail time up to one year.