The Law Office of the Republic is considering appealing the four-year jail term of a 48 year old man found guilty of sexually abusing a 16 year old girl with mild intellectual disability, considering it too lenient, Phileleftheros reported on Wednesday.
The offence carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Children’s Rights Commissioner Leda Koursoumba on Tuesday said the decision by the Nicosia criminal court “to impose a sentence of just four years on an adult who was found guilty of sexual abuse of a child with a mental disability challenges the notion of justice for any concerned citizen.”
Such lenient decisions, she said, are contrary to the commitment of the state to fight one of the “most heinous crimes in society.”
The commissioner also said that justice officials “have a duty to take decisions based on the letter and the spirit of the law. Especially, when they relate to children, mainly on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.”
They have a duty, “to make decisions that reflect the determination of the state and society to put an end to the sexual abuse of children,” she added.
AKEL also expressed its dismay over the decision, saying the state had ensured the ability of courts to impose harsh and deterrent penalties.
“No matter how blind justice may be, it cannot turn a blind eye to such sick crimes, but also to the need of the Cypriot society to deal with them effectively,” AKEL.
The offences were committed between 2014-2015 when the girl was aged between 14 and 15. According to the court, the victim was friends with the man’s children and she was abused when she visited their home.
In passing sentence, the Court took into account the suspect’s clean criminal record and the fact that he has already been under arrest for 18 months for the same case.