A judge charged a girl with “public mischief” after she allegedly lied about being gang-raped by 12 Israeli men.
The 19-year-old girl, who remains unidentified, told police she was on a working vacation when 12 Israeli men gang-raped her in the Cyprus town of Ayia Napa in July, according to The Washington Post. The girl retracted her statement 10 days later, but authorities arrested her and charged her with making a false allegation.
“My conclusion is that the guilt of the accused has been proven beyond reasonable doubt,” Famagusta District Court Judge Michalis Papathanasiou said Monday, according to WaPo. (RELATED: New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio Blames Anti-Semitic Attacks On Hate ‘Emanating From Washington’)
The 19-year-old spent over a month in jail before being released in August. She has been prohibited from leaving Cyprus and faces up to a year in jail as well as a fine of 1,700 euros, WaPo reported. The men whom she originally accused of gang rape were arrested, then released without charges, and the court did not hear evidence from them during the trial.
Her attorneys said she retracted her statement in the midst of post-traumatic stress disorder after the Cyprus police questioned her for seven hours without proper legal representation.
“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,” the girl’s family wrote on a fundraising page, WaPo reported, adding that the page raised over $70,000 for the girl’s defense.
“People suffering with PTSD can make retraction statements just to get themselves out of the situation in which they find themselves,” the young woman’s lawyer Michael Polak told BBC. Polak also said the girl’s conviction is “very worrying for a number of reasons.”
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