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12° Nicosia,
04 October, 2022
 
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Woman says bishop sexually assaulted her as a teen

Former Kition bishop accused of assaulting teenage girl who had lost her father four decades ago

Newsroom

Former Kition bishop Chrysostomos is facing more sexual assault charges after his acquittal in a rape case last year, with a new female accuser saying he assaulted her when she was seeking orphan aid from the church at the age of 16.

During an open hearing on Monday, a 57-year-old woman in a Larnaca courtroom pointed to Chrysostomos and said he attacked her back in November 1981 inside the Holy Diocese of Kition.

According to details heard in court, the woman said she had lost her father in 1981 and a neighbor at the time suggested to her mother that she ought to visit the bishop to seek financial aid that amounted to 200 Cypriot pounds given to orphans.

The plaintiff told the court that she felt something was amiss during the initial visit, when she “sat down on a maroon sofa and he sat next to me.”

“This is a man of god, don’t talk like this"

“He was touching my hands and when I went home I told my mother that this man’s behavior was strange and that something wasn’t right,” she said, adding that her mother replied “this is a man of god, don’t talk like this.”

The bishop hugged the girl and showed her photos of him inside a cable car in Switzerland, wearing civilian clothes and having his arms around two women

During her second visit in his office, the woman said the bishop hugged her and showed her photos of him inside a cable car in Switzerland, noting he was in civilian clothes and had his arms around two women.

In a total of five visits to the diocese, the plaintiff said Chrysostomos would always press a button to lock the door and later say the money was not ready, adding that each time she was being told to come back another time.

On the fifth visit, she alleged, the bishop greeted her at the door, hugged her, and then guided her upstairs. The woman went on to say that he locked the door, telling her to have a sit and asking her if she wanted anything to drink.

“I said no and he sat next to me. Then he pushed my shoulders back and I leaned back. He came on top of me and pressed his lips against mine,” she said.

“Open up, let me get out"

The plaintiff then said she started screaming frantically.

“Open up, let me get out, open up, let me get out,” she yelled according to her recount of the incident.

The bishop then proceeded to place his hand in front of her mouth, the woman said, adding that he did so in order for her screams not to be heard.

“He then grabbed my leg with his hand so I wouldn’t be able to kick him,” she added.

On the way back home she was crying, the woman remembered, saying “I didn’t even know how people kissed, I had no experience whatsoever, I was still a baby.”

“I felt like I wanted to throw up. I felt as not only he but also the entire diocese had landed on me,” she said.

The plaintiff said she was in a state of panic all the way back home and her mother had called a doctor who injected her with a tranquilizer to calm down.

“He came on to me,” she then told her mother and the doctor.

A woman who was present in the courtroom reportedly shouted “what a disgrace, shame,” with Chrysostomos replying “shame is on you.”

Chrysostomos denied the allegations last year, when the woman gave a deposition back in March 2021, while a third criminal case against the bishop is also in the works on involving similar indecent assault and sexual battery charges.

Secret tape, an attorney, and a local newspaper

The court also heard allegations that the bishop kept trying to reach the teenage girl at home, with her mother warning him that he would call the police if he kept calling her daughter. F

During the time of the alleged events, according to the details also heard in court, the girl’s sister called the bishop and pretended to be the plaintiff in hopes to secretly record him on tape.

“The tape was given to an attorney and a newspaper but the case did not move forward,” the woman told the court.

According to the plaintiff, everyone was telling them they had no case and the only thing they could manage would be to “destroy the girl’s good name.”

Last year in a separate rape case, it emerged during a hearing behind closed doors that another woman alleged that Chrysostomos offered her an alcoholic beverage before proceeding to rape her.

In an unsworn statement the bishop denied the rape allegations while the defense had also argued Chrysostomos was not mentally fit to stand trial.

According to reports, a judge panel acquitted the bishop in that case after finding the accuser had “made multiple contradictory statements” during the trial behind closed doors.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  Larnaca  |  Kition  |  bishop  |  Chrysostomos  |  rape  |  sexual assault  |  trial  |  orphan

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