A crowdfunding appeal to raise money to cover the legal fees of a 19 year old British woman accused of making a fake rape claim exceeded its £15,000 target within a day of being launched.
As of Saturday morning, the ‘Help Teen Victim Get Justice in Cyprus’ crowdfunding appeal launched by John Hobbs on gofundme raised £17,383 from 292 people.
The family and Justice Abroad argue that she was coerced by police into retracting her initial statement that she had been raped by 12 Israeli youths.
They have since been released and have returned to Israel.
Among the first donors to the appeal was Aryeh Fraser, an Israeli living in Miami, Florida, who donated over £7,640 to the campaign.
“I’m not justifying her claims. This is a humanitarian donation,” Fraser told the Ynet news site.
“I don’t know if they’re seeing our coverage in Israel, but here they’re covering this case differently,” Fraser said. “If your daughter was in trouble and you didn’t have money, and I as a Jew and an Israeli help, that’s not taking a side. I’m not defending the boys’ behavior, and I’m not a judge.”
Fraser said he was happy to hear that the Israeli youths had been released from jail, and was now only concerned with helping the woman’s family.
“All that we’re trying to say is return the young woman home and put an end to this. To put her on trial in Cyprus won’t help anyone,” Fraser said.
The go fund me page says: In the early hours of Sunday the 28th of July 2019, following a week of traumatic events, our daughter was arrested for allegedly making a false allegation of rape in Cyprus and is currently being detained in prison awaiting trial.
‘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.
‘She is alone in a prison abroad after an awful series of events, we just want to bring her home. ‘We are seeking funds to pay for the required legal representation in Cyprus.
‘The organisation Justice Abroad has already been providing assistance within the UK. They are bringing together an expert legal team, from both the UK and Cyprus, to challenge the many breaches of her rights and require funds to do so.’
The British teenager is currently in police custody and is due to appear before Famagusta district court on August 19 to answer a charge of public mischief for making a false allegation.
The offence carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail.