19-year-old British woman found guilty of Ayia Napa false rape claim

She has been held in Cyprus since July

A 19-year-old British woman has been found guilty of lying about being gang-raped by a group of 12 Israeli men on holiday in Ayia Napa.

The woman told police she was raped by 12 men aged 15-22 in her hotel in the Ayia Napa resort.

All 12 men were held in custody, however a month later the woman withdrew her allegation. All 12 were allowed to go back home.

Ritsa Pekri, defence lawyer, told the court the police interviewed her for eight hours over night and obtained a confession, withdrawing her allegations. She also called the police “aggressive” in their approach.

Rights groups have campaigned she did not have fair legal representation at the time of the confession. Cypriot police deny this claim.

The court was told the British woman had agreed to have consensual sex with a man called Sam, however prosecutors claim she changed her story after finding out she had been filmed during sex.

A forensic pathologist for the defence told the court her injuries were “consistent with the rape having taken place”.

Prosecutor Adamos Demosthenous told the court in his closing statement it was an “imaginary crime”.

The court ruled she is guilty of causing public mischief.

The woman had her passport taken off her and has been kept in prison and in safe houses since July.

A GoFundMe set up by the woman’s parents has raised over £50,000 to pay for legal costs.

She could serve a year in jail, or fined 1,000 euros.

Featured image: Romeparis, Creative Commons