A forensic pathologist has testified for the defence in the ongoing Ayia Napa rape trial, saying a report by a state examiner had left out important details that were consistent with rape.
Marios Matsakis, a well-known Cypriot private forensic pathologist, told a Paralimni court on Friday that the rape kit exam presented in court as evidence was incomplete.
The witness criticized state forensic pathologist Sofocles Sofocleous for leaving out important details in the case of a 19-year-old British female, who is facing public mischief charges after police said she made false statements to law enforcement officers on July 17 about being raped by Israeli teens.
The witness, who had examined evidence including a set of 15 photographs on behalf of the defence, said the defendant had many visible injuries on her body as well vaginal bleeding.
“I have no doubt that force applied to the young lady’s body within the preceding 48-hour period was sufficient to have caused these injuries,” Matsakis said.
The expert witness also said he was surprised to find that her naked torso had not been photographed during the rape kit exam.
“The woman was obviously in bad shape with a large number of external injuries, most of which were recent, some may have been caused through pressure by hand, and there was liquid blood in the lady’s vagina. This causes bells to go off in my head, as a forensic examiner, and it is my position that these details are consistent with rape,” Matsakis said.
In a previous hearing earlier this week, the 19-year-old alleged victim and rape accuser told the court that the she had agreed to have consensual sex with the main suspect, when his friends who had been hiding suddenly appeared in the hotel room and he told her to lie down.
She refused but he placed his penis in her mouth and put his knees on her shoulders, according to her testimony, while other teens started to shout and argue in Hebrew.
“I couldn't breathe. I tried to throw my head about and his friends were coming in all shouting and jeering. I tried to cross my legs. I was trying to throw my arms about. I don't know how many of them raped me. I couldn't see,” she told the court.
Matsakis also told the court during Friday's hearing that he had concluded, based on the evidence shared with him, that DNA from at least four individuals was identified, including from three sperm samples in used condoms while fluids from four individuals were also found on the bed sheet.
State prosecutor Adamos Demosthenous then asked Matsakis whether the witness could have drawn better conclusions had he examined the young woman and her statements and also conducted an investigation at the scene, with the witness replying that the evidence shared by the defence was sufficient for him to offer his expert opinion on the rape kit exam and DNA lab test results.
The prosecutor then told Matsakis that the state pathologist had carried out a full-body examination, looking at the woman’s naked body with his own eyes and failed to find anything that would corroborate her claim that one of the suspects held her down by placing his knees on her shoulders.
“Mr Sofocleous examined the 19-year-old using his naked eye and memory. Had they also taken photographs of the young lady’s torso, there would have been additional evidence to examine,” Matsakis replied.
The witness also said that at least one injury appeared to have been caused by a sharp object or human nail, while pointing out that some injuries seen in the supplied photos had not been recorded on the anatomical diagram submitted as part of the rape report evidence.
The state prosecutor told the witness that the defendant’s lawyers had misled Matsakis by not giving him the proper case file, with the private pathologist responding by calling on Demosthenous to supply the “correct case file” in order to offer his opinion.
Demosthenous also said the state pathologist had done “a very good job” while adding that Sofocleous’ conclusion, that there was not even the slightest suspicion that rape had occurred, was indeed correct.
Matsakis then argued that Mr Sofocleous was “completely wrong.”