A Turkish businessman identified only as İhsan B. was acquitted of child abuse charges after fleeing from Turkey during the judicial process, the daily Cumhuriyet reported on Sept. 29.
The suspect reportedly abused a 15-year-old child for years and threatened the family when they filed a criminal complaint, telling them to leave the western Kocaeli district.
"He told me 'Leave in 15 days, or I'll kill you all. I could buy all of Turkey. I've cut down many men,'" the child's mother said.
The mother took her child to the police officer about 20 days after the suspect's threats, and law enforcement offered them 300,000 Turkish Liras to change their statement.
The mother said that she suspects İhsan B. abused other children too, and the police confirmed that the child had given a statement that could have only been told by a real survivor.
A detention warrant was issued for İhsan B. as part of the investigation, but his attorney petitioned the Kocaeli court in charge of the investigation to dismiss the detention.
"My client is still abroad. The suspect is a married 45-year-old with five children. He's a member of a rooted family in the İzmit Bay, and a successful businessman. We ask that he not be arrested so he can return to Turkey and defend himself legally," the petition said.
The Kocaeli Criminal Court accepted the petition, allowing for İhsan B. to return to the country and give his statement where he rejected all accusations that he said were unfounded.
The criminal court ruled that there wasn't sufficient evidence to rule that he was indeed guilty of sexual abuse and withholding a person against their will, and acquitted him.
The survivor's lawyer and the Saadet Öğretmen Fight Against Child Abuse Association said that they would continue to seek prosecution of the suspect, noting that the acquittal was ruled based on insufficient prerequisite work.