A Turkish court acquitted Şükrü Şengül of child abuse charges on the grounds that his six year old child's virginity remained intact, news portal Bianet reported on Oct. 22.
Şengül was sentenced to 30 years in prison for child abuse on Dec. 17, 2019, a decision that his lawyers appealed.
Şengül was also issued an aggravated life sentence for the femicide of his wife, whom he confessed to killing for reporting his abuse of their six-year-old.
After the child reported the abuse to her mother in February of 2019, Döndü Şengül took refuge in the local police station with her two kids, the younger one a mere five months old.
Upon examination, law enforcement released the assailant because the child's virginity had remained intact, claiming that the mother and child were lying.
Şükrü Şengül shot and killed his wife for reporting his abuse on Feb. 18, 2019, when the woman was taking their six-year-old daughter to school.
Women and Children First Association Chair Müjde Tozbey Erden said that the organization took over the legal battle against the sexual predator after the femicide of Döndü Şengül.
"First we ensured that [Şükrü Şengül] received an aggravated life sentence for the premeditated murder of his wife, and another 30 years for abusing their child," the attorney said.
Illegal proceedings at the appeal hearing
In a hearing for the child abuse sentence's appeal on Oct. 22, the six-year-old survivor was made to testify in person, directly conflicting legislation that requires underaged sexual abuse survivors to be deposed remotely, with a pedagogue present.
"The child was traumatized again by being forced to answer questions about her sexual abuse in front of a room-full of people," the attorney said. "Forcing a child to testify in an appeals court is traumatizing and illegal."
A report of the child's examination by Ankara University noted that she may have suicidal tendencies as a result of the sexual abuse, potentially worsened by her interaction with the predator, the attorney noted.
The chairwoman said that any sexual act, speech and behavior towards a child is sexual abuse, and that "virginity is not a measure."
Meanwhile, the presiding judge clearly displayed bias, the chairwoman said, noting that the court board explicitly expressed their opinion that "the defendant is innocent and being falsely accused."
The NGO pressed charges against the trial's judges for abuse of power, and will continue to follow along with the legal battle, Tozbey Erden added.
Assailant to obtain custody of survivor, possibly get out in a few years
As a result of the assailant's acquittal of sexual abuse charges, the sexual predator will be eligible to obtain custody of the six-year-old survivor, although he murdered the child's mother, said the attorney.
In addition, the elimination of sexual abuse charges also cleared the way for a discount in Şengül's murder sentence on the grounds that the mother had caused provocation by "falsely accusing" the killer.
"He'll take advantage of provocation discounts on the grounds that she had slandered his reputation. In this case, he could get out in six to seven years," the attorney said.
Turkish courts discounted four femicide assailants' sentences on the grounds of "provocation" and "good behavior" in October, We Will Stop Femicides Platform reported on Oct. 17.'Decline in child abuse data indicates severe isolation of Turkish children during pandemic'Over 59,000 children sexually abused in Turkey between 2014-2017, says main opposition deputy