/Footballer revealed as man who had sex with Brit convicted of false gang rape claims in Cyprus

Footballer revealed as man who had sex with Brit convicted of false gang rape claims in Cyprus

A footballer, 19, has been revealed as the man who had consensual sex with a British teen convicted of ‘false gang rape claims’ in Cyprus. 

Israeli Shimon Yusufov met the Brit, from Derbyshire, while on holiday in Cyprus and had sex with her, but denied any involvement in a later group attack. 

The woman claimed semi-professional footballer Yusufov held her down while his 11 Israeli friends raped her in Ayia Napa in July.

Her claims were later thrown out by a judge and, tomorrow, she is facing up to a year in prison.

However, an expert witness who gave evidence at the trial slammed judge Michalis Papathanasiou, claiming he was ‘aggressive’ and ‘shouting at the girl’, ‘excluding rape right from the start’.

Dr Marios Matsakis, 65, a forensic pathologist, also said the British teenager may have been drugged, claims he said were not properly investigated. 

Shimon Yusufov met the Brit, from Derbyshire, while on holiday in Cyprus and had consensual sex with her, but denied any involvement in a later group attack

Shimon Yusufov met the Brit, from Derbyshire, while on holiday in Cyprus and had consensual sex with her, but denied any involvement in a later group attack

Shimon Yusufov met the Brit, from Derbyshire, while on holiday in Cyprus and had consensual sex with her, but denied any involvement in a later group attack

The Briton (right) leaves court after being found guilty of lying – her mask with lips sewn up signifies the fact that her voice is being silenced. Her mother says she cannot 'visualise going home' as the trial has been 'so unpredictable'

The Briton (right) leaves court after being found guilty of lying – her mask with lips sewn up signifies the fact that her voice is being silenced. Her mother says she cannot 'visualise going home' as the trial has been 'so unpredictable'

The Briton (right) leaves court after being found guilty of lying – her mask with lips sewn up signifies the fact that her voice is being silenced. Her mother says she cannot ‘visualise going home’ as the trial has been ‘so unpredictable’

Woman claimed semi-professional footballer Yusufov held her down while his 11 Israeli friends raped her in Ayia Napa in July

Woman claimed semi-professional footballer Yusufov held her down while his 11 Israeli friends raped her in Ayia Napa in July

Woman claimed semi-professional footballer Yusufov held her down while his 11 Israeli friends raped her in Ayia Napa in July

He added that the failure to properly examine evidence against the 12 Israelis made him ‘ashamed as a Cypriot’.

Describing the judge, Dr Matsakis said ‘my impression is he hates women’.

It was also claimed that the British girl was ‘tricked’ into handing over her passport within hours of reporting the attack leaving her stranded on the island.

She is now facing up to a year in jail and a £1,500 fine despite already serving 4 weeks on remand and five months stranded on the island. 

Yesterday Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he had reached out to the teenager’s mother about his ‘serious concerns’ and had urged Cyprus ‘to do the right thing’ ahead of her sentencing tomorrow.

Cyprus trial judge Michalis Papathanasiou

Cyprus trial judge Michalis Papathanasiou

Cyprus trial judge Michalis Papathanasiou

He spoke out as a friend – who was with her on the night of the alleged assault – revealed that police threatened to drop the investigation into her case if she did not stay on the island.

The girl – then just 18 – had agreed to stay and handed over her passport in the hope of bringing her attackers to justice.

‘She desperately wanted to go home but she knew the boys would go free. She didn’t want them to do it again to anyone else so she felt like she had to stay – to help other women,’ her friend said.

The girl – who was entitled to anonymity as an alleged victim of sexually assault – was left terrified after realising her name had been leaked to the Israeli press.

‘One came up to us at the hotel and just said her name… it was within days of the attack. We couldn’t work out how they could have known,’ the friend added.

The teenager – who had been on a working holiday – was said to have been told by the police she could go home in a week which then became 10 days.

But on the 10th day she was hauled into a police station where she was interrogated for almost eight hours without a lawyer.

The girls says she was threatened by police who said they would arrest her friends until she agreed to sign a retraction statement in the early hours.

The police deny pressuring her and claimed in court it took so long only because the girl wanted to think about what she wrote in the confession which is just three paragraphs long.

Some of the Israeli men who were initially accused of rape are seen arriving in court on July 25. The woman's family say police protected them and treated her as a criminal from the start

Some of the Israeli men who were initially accused of rape are seen arriving in court on July 25. The woman's family say police protected them and treated her as a criminal from the start

Some of the Israeli men who were initially accused of rape are seen arriving in court on July 25. The woman’s family say police protected them and treated her as a criminal from the start

The retraction – which experts say was composed by a non-native English speaker – has been the crux of the five month long case which saw the girl convicted of public mischief last week.

It comes as her mother revealed the moment her daughter told her she had been gang raped. 

As she made her daily commute from her home in a sleepy Derbyshire village, a mother received a phone call from her daughter in Cyprus.

‘Mum, I’ve been gang-raped,’ her only child told her.

From the harrowing moment she heard the words, spoken softly by the teenager, the conscientious, middle-class mother has seen the life she built for her ‘golden little girl’ torn apart.

‘It’s the call nobody wants to receive. It was just devastating,’ the mother told the Daily Mail yesterday.

The woman – who remains anonymous to protect her daughter’s identity – has spoken of the anguish of the past five months as she fought to restore a normal family life.

Not only has she been faced with the ‘hopelessness’ of trying to defend her daughter in the island’s unfamiliar court system – but also on the streets.

The student has been stranded since July after being accused of making up claims that she was raped by a group of Israeli youths in Ayia Napa.

And tomorrow, her mother will sit in the public gallery of the tiny Famagusta District Court to see if her daughter will be jailed over charges of ‘causing public mischief’. The world’s media will be watching – as will Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who has said he has ‘serious concerns’ about the teenager’s treatment.

The bedroom where the teenager claimed the attack had taken place

The bedroom where the teenager claimed the attack had taken place

The bedroom where the teenager claimed the attack had taken place

The room of the Aiya Napa hotel room where the teenager claimed she had been attacked

The room of the Aiya Napa hotel room where the teenager claimed she had been attacked

The room of the Aiya Napa hotel room where the teenager claimed she had been attacked

The woman flew to Cyprus after her daughter’s phone call on Wednesday, July 17, but it was ten days later that the teenager’s fate went from tragic to unjust.

She was asked to go to the police station for a chat with Detective Sergeants Marius Christou and Andreas Nikolettis. She told her mother it was just a routine chat and she would be back in time for dinner.

But instead she was thrown into a police cell, scared and alone. She was then interrogated for eight hours – until she signed a retraction statement saying she made up the rape claims because she was embarrassed she had been filmed without her consent.

Pictured: A diagram illustrating bruising found on the teenager

Pictured: A diagram illustrating bruising found on the teenager

Pictured: A diagram illustrating bruising found on the teenager 

The mother suddenly found herself alone and facing the worst possible scenario in a foreign country – she now had to somehow negotiate the language barrier and chaotic court system to find a way to help her child.

‘I was in shock at what had happened already. I was still dealing with the emotional impact of that,’ she said.

‘I had to deal with my daughter being raped and we were scared witless that she might have HIV. Then all of a sudden she is in prison.

‘That whole series of events… those three things individually for an ordinary person are life-changing, you don’t get all three of them. Hopefully you don’t get any of them.’

And it was not only in the courts that she was forced to prove the innocence of her ‘bubbly, beautiful girl’.

The case had become the primary topic of conversation on the island and everyone – assuming the mother was just another British tourist on holiday – wanted to know what she thought about the girl who cried rape.

For the sake of her daughter’s safety and anonymity, she would have to answer as a tourist – completely disconnected from the events.

‘It happened a lot in the summer months, as soon as they realise you are British they want to know what you think. I was having to defend my daughter incognito,’ she said.

‘I always say, ‘if that was your daughter, how would you feel’?’

While the mother was trying to come to terms with the dire situation, pictures were emerging of the Israeli boys, now exonerated, returning home to a heroes’ welcome – popping champagne corks and chanting ‘the Brit is a whore’.

Asked how she felt seeing those celebrations as her daughter was put in a foreign jail, the mother paused for a long time and fought back tears.

‘I felt utter disbelief. I think that’s because the parents of those boys were involved as well. I was just devastated. I felt completely heartbroken for my daughter.

‘She has never been in trouble before. She is my golden girl.’

The teenager was remanded in custody for more than a month. She spent her 19th birthday in jail, and received her exam results by phone.

‘She did well (in her results), I was proud, but it is hard to be happy when you are in that kind of situation,’ her mother said.

The trial was expected to last just three days, but has dragged on for months.

‘We had no way to plan the logistics of it all,’ the mother said. ‘We sort of gave up trying. It has been like that from the beginning. We cannot visualise going home because we have struggled with the decision-making all the way through. It has been so unpredictable.’

She also watched helplessly as district judge Michalis Papathanasiou directed several outbursts at her daughter.

The statement is the crux of a case that has sparked a diplomatic incident, with the teenager dragged to court and convicted of lying

The statement is the crux of a case that has sparked a diplomatic incident, with the teenager dragged to court and convicted of lying

The statement is the crux of a case that has sparked a diplomatic incident, with the teenager dragged to court and convicted of lying

If the teenager even glanced back at her mother for reassurance during the stop-start trial, he would shout angrily at her to ‘show him respect’. Torn between wanting to stand up and defend her or simply give her a hug, the woman said: ‘I had to separate myself from it, I think I told myself that it wasn’t real. I would have been sobbing otherwise. It was horrific. Seriously horrific.’

She is deeply worried for the mental health of her daughter, who is suffering from PTSD and vacillating between hypersomnia – in which sufferers struggle to keep awake during the day – and insomnia. After she was convicted last Monday, the teenager suffered a panic attack – often triggered by men shouting in a foreign language – outside court after hearing a policeman yelling.

She froze before grabbing her mother’s arm and saying: ‘I’m so sorry, I can’t help acting like this. It will be all right in a minute.’

A petition has been launched to have all charges dropped against the teenager dropped following her conviction

A petition has been launched to have all charges dropped against the teenager dropped following her conviction

A petition has been launched to have all charges dropped against the teenager dropped following her conviction 

Her mother said: ‘It’s very physical, she will become incredibly anxious and try to get away.

‘Her body sort of takes over and she can’t always rationalise what is going on. It can be paralysing. She seizes up.’ She said her over-riding priority was to get her daughter home and treated.

‘I’m very worried about it. She has to get treatment for it or she will be affected by it for the rest of her life.

An online fundraiser entitled 'Help Teen Victim Get Justice In Cyprus' has raised more than £114,000 towards the family's legal fees so far

An online fundraiser entitled 'Help Teen Victim Get Justice In Cyprus' has raised more than £114,000 towards the family's legal fees so far

An online fundraiser entitled ‘Help Teen Victim Get Justice In Cyprus’ has raised more than £114,000 towards the family’s legal fees so far

‘So much harm has already been done, we need to minimise that as much as possible.

‘She was very confident, very intelligent, and it’s really affected her self-confidence.’

The mother had no qualms when her confident and intelligent daughter – then just 18 – said she wanted to go to Ayia Napa for a working holiday before she took up an unconditional offer at university.

The woman had thought it was safe – and had previously visited the island herself.

‘To me it was just another party destination at another resort that attracts young people looking for sun and a good time,’ she said.

The softly-spoken project manager from Derbyshire could never have known the anguish that was to follow after her daughter set off on Wednesday, July 10.

‘If I had known then what I know now I would have done anything in my power to stop her coming here,’ she said.

She has since backed calls to boycott the ‘unsafe’ island, adding: ‘It could happen to anyone’s daughter, niece, mother or sister.’  

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