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12° Nicosia,
15 August, 2020
 
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Mother detained in child abuse case

Conflicting information over authorities handling initial arrests following grandmother’s complaint

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Police brought to light a suspected child abuse case in Limassol this week, during an investigation into an assault complaint launched against the parents by the baby’s grandmother who said she was assaulted by her son and daughter-in-law.

(Click here for an update to the story)

According to local media, a 24-year-old female from Latvia and the 27-year-old Greek Cypriot father of her child, are in police custody with both reportedly denying allegations of child abuse.

The case under police investigation began when the female suspect’s mother-in-law filed a complaint with law enforcement authorities, alleging she was assaulted in her own residence last Friday by her son and daughter-in-law.

Police declined to comment on the case but Knews understands the complainant’s son was initially being accused in the incident involving aggravated assault and destruction of property.

Police declined to comment on the child abuse allegations or the assault and destruction of property charges, citing privacy concerns stemming from domestic violence protocols

Both parents were initially arrested but the man was released from custody. According to local reports, the woman was with her baby boy at the station where officers arrested her on assault charges and notified Child Services to pick up the baby.

Some reports said the worker from social services, who went to the police station, raised suspicions of child abuse after determining the baby boy was exhibiting signs of physical abuse and neglect.

But other reports said the social worker had gone to the police station to accompany the woman and baby, adding that police officers were the ones who suspected child abuse.

Doctors who were called to examine the baby boy determined that there were bruises on his body, while “other signs of child neglect” were also present according to the Cyprus News Agency.

The detained woman appeared in court on Tuesday but her remand hearing was postponed for Wednesday due to her not having legal representation. The father of the child, who also showed up in court, was immediately arrested but it was not clear on what specific charges.

Both suspects on their part deny child endangerment allegations, while reports said Labout Minister Zeta Emilianidou asked to get information about the case. The family was said to have been known to social services, but it was not clear whether child abuse had been suspected specifically or whether there were prior domestic violence complaints.

According to Kathimerini Cyprus, the father of the child said he had not seen his baby for several days. Local media said reports of child abuse went as far back as February, with concerned citizens calling authorities in the past. The grandmother, who reportedly requested to be a guardian for the child, also notified authorities according to local media.

The mother reportedly told investigators the baby had some bruises possibly from falling to the ground, while state forensic pathologists Angeliki Papetta and Orthodoxos Orthodoxou said the were were signs suggesting the baby had been in an abusive environment for some time. State prosecutors allege physical abuse had been taking place as far back as 20 days ago.

Kathimerini reported that the father has called on authorities to punish the mother of his child and make an example of her if it is determined that she abused their son.

Police declined to comment on the child abuse allegations or the assault and destruction of property charges, citing an ongoing investigation and privacy concerns stemming from domestic violence protocols.

The mother was remanded in police custody for two days on Wednesday while the father was also scheduled to appear in court. Both suspects are expected to appear together in court on Friday.

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Cyprus  |  Limassol  |  Greek Cypriot  |  Latvian  |  mother  |  father  |  baby  |  child abuse  |  assault  |  property destruction  |  arrest  |  minister  |  labour  |  social services

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