News Local Updated: Child protection advisor blasts early release of convicted paedophile

Updated: Child protection advisor blasts early release of convicted paedophile

Anastasia Papadopoulou, a special advisor on child protection, has blasted the early release of a convicted paedophile, noting moreover that no restrictive measures have been imposed.

Papadopoulou was appointed by cabinet in July 2015 as an advisor to a ministerial committee  set up to draw up a national strategy on sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography

Papadopoulou said that the early release not only sent a wrong message, but added that as a result, the procedure under which convicted paedophiles are placed under supervision has been circumvented. According to her Facebook post, the man was granted an early release after a presidential pardon at the suggestion of the attorney general.

“The court did not impose supervision in the sentence, and the supervisory authority was never briefed about the early release. No restrictive or protective measures have been taken,” she added.

The result is that the victim, who is now an adult, has heard the celebrations of the perpetrator’s return to the neighbourhood and is now terrified that she will see him in front of her. No-one informed her. Again, no-one protected her, Papadopoulou wrote.

The victim had been abused for four years, with the spouse an accomplice to the crime, but no one protected her, said Papadopoulou. She finally spoke out, the case went to court and she went through so much at the trial because we all told her to break her silence and that we will be there as a state and as a society.

The offender’s spouse was never prosecuted by the legal service and is still employed at school, she also noted.

Commenting on the issue later on Tuesday, the Supervisory Committee for Individuals Convicted of Sexual Crimes against minors said it had no authority to impose any restrictions regarding an adult victim, and particularly not to allow that individual to live or move in areas where an adult victim is.

It clarified that it will in the next few days seek a court order so that the released offender is placed under supervision.  The aim of supervision is to avert a possible sexual offence  against a minor.

The authority said a bill is before the House of Representatives to widen its supervisory authority. It added that during discussion of this draft bill before the House Committee extending supervision to cover victims who have since become adults can also be discussed.

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