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UK Tourist Who Made Up Gang Rape Story in Cyprus Held Without Bail

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A female British tourist had accused a dozen teenage boys from Israel of gang rape at a holiday resort in Ayia Napa, Cyprus. The British teenaged accuser,19, whose name has not been released, has since admitted that her allegations were untrue. Photo Credit: Sky News

By Ellen Cans

A female British tourist had accused a dozen teenage boys from Israel of gang rape at a holiday resort in Ayia Napa, Cyprus. The British teenaged accuser,19, whose name has not been released, has since admitted that her allegations were untrue. She was indicted on a public nuisance charge, at the Famagusta District Court in Paralimni, eastern Cyprus. The high profile case was decided by Judge Tonia Antoniou, who had held her in custody until the court appearance because she was considered to be a flight risk. She had originally alleged that 12 Israeli boys had raped her in a room at the Pambos Napa Rocks Hotel. The boys were detained by police for questioning, but all denied the allegations.

As reported by the NY Post, on Sunday the 28th, Cyprus police freed the remaining seven of 12 Israeli suspects who were firstly arrested on July 17 after the tourist made the rape allegation against them. Five of the other boys had already been released three days earlier after denying all wrongdoing, when no evidence was found implicating them. The woman reportedly withdrew her rape allegation during questioning. While she said there had been sexual contact with the suspects, she admitted that she wasn’t raped. She said she brought the allegations up against them because she was “angry and insulted” that some of the boys had taped interactions that she had with a few of them, without her consent.

Some of the boys’ lawyers have said that they will file a joint lawsuit of their own against the woman, seeking more than 60,000 euros in damages, which is close to $67,000. As per the Post, local Cyprus authorities are also considering suing the tourist for the hefty cost of the probe. The incident had caused quite an uproar in Israel, and throughout the media worldwide.

Though the boys received a hero’s welcome when they returned safe from Cyprus, not everyone felt they deserved it. In an Op-ed, a columnist wrote that even though the boys were exonerated by the Cypriot authorities, their actions were embarrassing. “So what we have here is a group of teenage boys, who it turns out are not rapists, just the type of boys who would engage in group sex with a drunk girl, film it without her permission and then send it around to their friends,” columnist Hen Artzi-Sror wrote. “There’s no doubt, they are obviously good boys,” he added.

Many Israelis also took to social media to point out that if the boys done this in Israel, they might not be found guilt-free by Israeli law. They may have faced criminal charges for filming the sex, thanks to a 2014 law in Israel which bans “revenge porn” or distribution of some pornographic content over the internet, without consent of the other party. As per the Times of Israel, the offense carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail.

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