The Supreme Court has increased the sentences for child pornography for two convicts following an appeal by Attorney-General Costas Clerides against Limassol District Court’s more lenient sentences. In one case the convict’s sentence went from two up to three years, and in another case it went from three up to five years, according to a statement.
Cyprus’ highest court said it was deeply concerned by the increase of crimes against children and that sentences must represent a deterrent. Pederasts are using the internet to spread child pornography, directly corrupting children’s innocence, said the Supreme Court.
The announcement comes in the wake of a public outcry over the early release of a convicted pederast who is also an Orthodox Church priest. Former foster parent Papastylianos Savva was reinstated by the Holy Synod upon his release from prison. Savva then started an airbrushed Facebook page with a cover showing him in a church service with two children in front of him. The profile picture showed him looking beatifically at a baby. When you knew his history, it was immediately apparent that it was intended to ‘groom’ other children for his sick attentions.
One of his victims, Elena Frantzi, couldn’t take the injustice of her betrayer returning to his job as if nothing had happened and committed suicide on March 24th. Following her suicide and confirmation of her abuser’s identity, there was an outcry on Facebook, and to its credit, the social media giant deleted his page. It is a cautionary tale for parents who upload photos of their children to Facebook…even an innocent-looking priest’s page could be a front for predators.
Elena Frantzi was just five years old when the sexual molestation began on December 13th, 1993. It continued until 2000. According to a statement by Attorney-General Costas Clerides, the authorities are have now charged his wife for grievous bodily harm against Elena.
While the Court’s decision to come down harder on child molesters is an important one, it came too late to help Elena and her need for justice. It can only be hoped that future cases of pederasty will be taken for the serious crimes they are.