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A former bishop was convicted of sexually assaulting a minor girl in Cyprus


A former Orthodox bishop was found guilty by a court in Larnaca of sexually assaulting a minor girl 40 years ago. This is the first time that a ruling of this kind has been issued against a high-ranking cleric on the island. But the verdict angered many.

A former Cypriot bishop was found guilty Thursday of sexually assaulting a minor and given a one-year suspended sentence, in the island’s first such conviction for a senior cleric.

The Larnaca Court (south) found the cleric, Chrysostomos de Kition, guilty of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl while he was bishop of the city in 1981.

The verdict was met with anger expressed by a group of demonstrators who gathered outside the courtroom and chanted “rapist” when pronouncing the verdict.

The court justified its decision by relying on a law that was in force at the time of the incident, which indicates that sexual assault is punishable by imprisonment for a maximum of two years.

The court indicated that it took into account the poor health of the 84-year-old former bishop.

Judge Effie Eftimiou explained that “in 1981, when Chrysostomos was 42 years old, he asked a 16-year-old girl seeking financial assistance” to come to an appointment alone.

“Instead of helping her, he decided to assault her,” she added, adding that “the only appropriate punishment for him is imprisonment with a justifiable stay of execution.”

The victim filed the lawsuit in 2021, 40 years after the incident. Since then, six other women have filed lawsuits against the man, who held other high positions in the Cypriot Orthodox Church after serving as Bishop of Larnaca.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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