Trial begins for British woman who accused Israelis of gang rape

British teen accused of making false rape complaint against 12 Israelis heads to court as trial begins Wednesday.

Tags: Cyprus Rape
David Rosenberg ,

19-year-old UK tourist arrested for falsely accusing Israeli teens of gang rape
19-year-old UK tourist arrested for falsely accusing Israeli teens of gang rape

A British teen suspected of making a false police report accusing 12 Israelis of gang rape this summer will stand trial in Cyprus Wednesday, in a case that could result in jail time if the young woman is found guilty.

In July, the 19-year-old British tourist, who was staying in the Cypriot resort town of Ayia Napa, accused 12 Israeli youths of gang raping her in a hotel room.

The 12 Israelis, ages 15 to 19, were arrested by local authorities, but were later freed and allowed to return to Israel after the British teen recanted, telling investigators that while she had had sexual relations with a number of the Israelis, the encounters had been consensual. After she discovered that several of the teens were filming the encounters, however, the young woman became incensed, and decided to file a police complaint.

The British teen, whose identity may not be published unless she is found guilty, was later arrested and indicted on charges of “public mischief”, and now faces up to one year in prison and a fine of 1,700 euros ($1,900).

Following her indictment, the British teen was released from a Nicosia prison on bail, after surrendering her passport and vowing not to attempt to leave the country.

Lawyers who have taken up her case, including Justice Abroad’s Michael Pollak, have criticized Cypriot authorities’ handling of the case, and have accused police of forcing the woman to sign a confession.