Police say a young woman is accusing three men of sexual exploitation, with reports saying she has been transported to a safe house before a Nicosia judge ordered the suspects free on bail.
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Police on Tuesday said three individuals will stand trial in a sex exploitation case in Nicosia, with the male defendants facing multiple charges including rape, use of threats, and felony conspiracy.
According to an official report, an 18-year-old female is listed as the complainant in the case, after officers in the anti-trafficking unit determined there were signs of victimization that led to her being recognized as a trafficking victim.
Knews understands two defendants are facing pimping charges while one suspect is being charged with a new offense in the penal code regarding the use of sexual services of trafficking victims
Police declined to give details in the case while unverified reports in local media said the case involved a Greek Cypriot female and three adult males of Romanian origins “who belonged to a sex trafficking ring.”
It was not clear when the three men were arrested but police said the suspects had been in custody on Tuesday when prosecutors requested they remain behind bars.
But a judge presiding over the filing of the criminal case denied the request, setting the three defendants free on bail while the release terms have not been made public.
Knews understands two defendants in the case are being accused of pimping the girl to at least one male client, while one suspect is being charged with a new offense in the penal code regarding the use of sexual services of trafficking victims.
In July 2019 the legislators in the Republic of Cyprus passed a law criminalizing customers who pay for sex with women recognized as trafficking victims, while it rejected an amendment that would provide a legal recourse for defendants who use a plea of ignorance as their defence.
An amendment proposal, which aimed at providing defendants a chance to prove they had no knowledge that a person was a victim of sex trafficking, was defeated by 46 to 1, with legislators in favor citing a need to send a tough message against trafficking.
The new law essentially criminalizes the solicitation of sexual services, where customers buying sex cannot plead ignorance in cases where the sex worker is a recognized victim, has been trafficked, or is under the control of a pimp.
Members of the Crime Prevention and the Anti-Trafficking units in Nicosia worked on the case, a police report said.