A 19-year-old British woman hides her face as she arrives at a Cypriot court on January 7 to hear her sentencing over false claims of a gang-rape. (Iakovos Hatzistavrou/AFP via Getty Images)

British Woman Given Suspended Sentence for Cyprus Gang-rape Claim

A court in Cyprus has handed down a four-month suspended sentence after finding a 19-year-old British woman guilty of “public mischief” for claiming that 12 Israeli youths had gang-raped her last July in a hotel room. The judge said the woman, who remains unidentified, had recanted to investigators, citing embarrassment over consensual sex with one of the Israelis that she later discovered had been videoed by several of his friends. The woman now insists the gang-rape took place, saying she had been coerced into withdrawing her complaint. Some observers have cited possible political pressure over a crucial deal for natural gas that Cyprus just signed with Israel, where the case initially elicited great embarrassment, particularly when the youths, once released, returned home to a boisterous airport welcome. The woman, whose mother says she and her daughter are returning to the UK, plans to appeal.

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