A British teenager convicted in Cyprus of falsely accusing 12 Israelis of gang-raping her, says she thought she was going to die as the youth took turns assaulting her “like a pack of wolves.”
The UK woman was given a suspended four-months jail sentence by district court in the town of Paralimni three weeks ago. She was initially arrested after police said she withdrew an accusation that the Israeli teenagers raped her in a hotel room at the holiday resort of Ayia Napa in mid-July and had faced charges of public mischief.
In an interview with the Daily Mail newspaper on Sunday, the teen who recently returned to the UK, spoke of her ordeal insisting her confession was coerced by a male detective who “dictated” her what to say.
The woman filed an appeal to get her conviction overturned and clear her name. “I told the truth; the fight has just begun.”
The 19-year-old tells the newspaper she traveled to the resort town to work as well as vacation and met one of the 12 accused Israeli teens.
The friendship between the two apparently developed into a “normal holiday romance” and a day before Shimon Yusufov, also 19, was to return to Israel, the woman agreed to go to his hotel room - which she says was very unpleasant.
“I knew he was leaving the next day, so we started kissing,” she says. “About five minutes later, I heard the sound of the room door opening and turned around. He grabbed me and threw me on the bed,” the teen adds.
“He pinned my shoulders down by kneeling on them - he was well-built, strong - I couldn't move. From under his knees, I turned and saw the light growing from the doorway.”
In the interview, the woman recalls how the other teens who entered the room grabbed her by the ankles and ripped the clothes she was wearing. She says Yusufov eventually became angry and grabbed her knees.
“Then they took it in turns. I thought if I don't get out of here now, I'm going to die," she says. "They were lining up, excited, talking and shouting in Hebrew. I was trying to fight them off, but I just couldn't," she adds.
“They were like a pack of animals, a pack of wolves.”
The woman adds she isn’t sure whether all 12 men she accused of rape participated in the assault. “You don't count, you couldn't count.”
The teen says she signed her confession, admitting to having fabricated the rape, under intense pressure from the police. “I knew straight away I'd done something really, really wrong by signing it.”
In the interview the Brit says the assault and the subsequent six months she spent in Cyprus jail took a heavy mental and financial toll on her and her family.
“At night I lie awake, sleep will not take me,” says the woman who was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. “I can see their hands grabbing me, touching me. It makes me sick.”
In addition, a crowdfunding campaign was set up to help the family raise the funds necessary to support the woman.
First published: 11:55 , 01.27.20