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Gastroenterologist sentenced to prison amidst lack of remorse for indecent assaults

By Ioanna Mantzipa - Cyprus Philenews - 05.03.2024 - [CYPRUS] - [Pavlos Antoniou] In a courtroom filled with both colleagues and friendly faces, Pavlos Antoniou, a gastroenterologist faced sentencing at the Nicosia District Court yesterday, following his conviction on multiple charges of indecent assault against a patient.

The 62-year-old man received a four-month immediate prison sentence.

During the proceedings, the court pointed out the accused’s lack of remorse and failure to apologise, not only to the victim but also to the broader community and the state itself.

During the mitigation plea, the doctor’s defence presented a letter from the accused’s spiritual advisor, urging the court to forgo a custodial sentence. The letter praised the doctor’s character and professional excellence, something reportedly based on personal knowledge through confession.

This defence was mirrored by the accused’s legal representation, which argued that their client had been prematurely judged and condemned by the media, contributing to a prejudiced perception of the case.

The conviction stems from events reported in the summer of 2020, culminating in the court’s decision on December 24, 2023, which found the doctor guilty and dismissed his testimony as unreliable.

Contrarily, the victim’s account was deemed credible, leading to the doctor’s subsequent exclusion from the General Health System.

The indictment detailed a sequence of events where the victim, under the pretence of necessary medical examinations requiring anaesthesia, was subjected to multiple indecent assaults by the doctor, who was also a family acquaintance.

According to the victim’s testimony, these assaults occurred shortly after she regained consciousness, isolated within the doctor’s facility. The accused claimed the interactions were consensual, alleging the victim had initiated physical affection—a claim rejected by the court.

The aftermath of the incident saw the victim confiding in a close friend through a message and later informing her mother, who awaited her in the hospital’s waiting area.

In its decision, the court noted that the doctor had previous convictions for similar offences. If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can contact Dignity4Patients, whose helpline is open Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm.


Dignity4Patients Commentary: The fact that a doctor with a prior record of sexual misconduct is permitted to continue practicing and retain a license from the state is concerning. In any other field, this would not be accepted. Patients must be safeguarded. Anyone seeking medical care is not in a position to consent to sexual advances. This demonstrates the doctor's abuse of power over the vulnerabilities of a patient.


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