Ms. Annette Mangan a 22-year-old Dublin woman’s package holiday in Cyprus has ended with her being sent to prison for four months for making a false complaint to police that she was raped by three Irish soldiers.
Ms. Annette Mangan, from Castle Park, Tallaght, pleaded guilty to the charge in court yesterday and was taken to Nicosia Central Prison.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said the honorary Irish consul in Cyprus, Mr. Stephanous Stephanou, was trying to arrange for Ms. Mangan’s sister to visit her today.
Ms. Mangan, who works in a computer plant in Tallaght, had traveled to the holiday resort of Ayia Napa with her sister and two friends on a package trip with Falcon Holidays.
It is believed the travel agent’s parent company, First Choice, arranged a solicitor to represent Ms. Mangan in court.
The charge arose after local police found discrepancies in her claim that three soldiers raped her in an apartment.
The soldiers, members of the 81st Infantry Battalion serving with Unifil in Lebanon, were on holiday in Cyprus. One was released almost immediately after being detained but the other two were held for eight hours in a cell before Ms. Mangan confessed she had lied.
Her father, Mr. Albert Mangan, said last night he hoped she would not have to serve the full sentence. However, he said: “I understand, when they say four months, they mean it.”
Local sources, however, said Ms. Mangan may be released after serving 50 days or less.
Mr. Mangan said his daughter was “quiet and does get panicky. She doesn’t like being on her own”.
The soldiers were staying at the same apartment as another man whom Ms. Mangan had met the night before she reported the alleged rape.
Police said they found contradictions in the complaint and Ms. Mangan later admitted she made up the story because one of the men staying in the apartment photographed her while she slept nude.
At the hearing at Famagusta District Court in Nicosia, her lawyer said the false allegation was her way of taking revenge because she “felt demeaned” and that “she had been raped morally, if not bodily”.
Judge Antonis Liatsos said he had dealt with a number of cases recently of women tourists making false rape allegations which is totally unacceptable in Cyprus to make a false claim. We will not watch to condone this dehumanize act by some female teen.