UK teenager detained in Cyprus over alleged false gang rape claims

Woman, 19, held on suspicion of falsely accusing 12 Israeli tourists of attack

UK teenager detained in Cyprus over alleged false gang rape claims

A British teenager has been remanded in custody in Cyprus after she was arrested last week on suspicion of falsely accusing 12 Israeli tourists of gang rape.

The 19-year-old faces public mischief charges that come with a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a fine of about 1,700 (1,600).

The woman, who has not been named, stood during the session at the Famagusta district court in Paralimni in south-east Cyprus without speaking. Her mother was also present.

She covered her face with the hood of her sweatshirt as she left the court and was put into a police van.

Her lawyer, Andreas Pittadjis, said she was expected to enter a plea when she appears again on 7 August. He asked the court for time to collect videotapes and statements gathered by the Cypriot police during the investigation.

Initially, the teenager had alleged that 12 Israelis raped her at the hotel where she was staying in Ayia Napa on 17 July.

The tourists, aged 15 to 18, were released last week after the woman was arrested on suspicion of making a false statement about an imaginary crime, according to Cyprus police.

Ayia Napa is a magnet for younger holidaymakers attracted by its reputation as a party town and its white sand beaches.

The UK is the islands biggest tourist market with about 1.3 million Britons travelling to Cyprus every year. Nearby Israel is also becoming a key source of visitors.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

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