69-year-old man convicted of molesting grandson is not jailed due to 'old age, illnesses'

A Turkish court has refused to put a man behind bars although it found him guilty of sexually abusing his four-year-old grandson and ruled a 28-year prison sentence for him. The court cited the man's “old age, illnesses and regular appearance at hearings” in its ruling, online news outlet Diken reported on Feb. 16.

Protestors hold a banner reading 'Child abuse can be prevented' during a demonstration.

Duvar English

A Turkish court has sentenced a 69-year-old man to 28 years in prison for sexually abusing his grandson, but refused to jail him citing his “age, illnesses and regular appearance at hearings,” online news outlet Diken reported on Feb. 16.

The sexual abuse incident came to the surface in 2019 in the southern province of Adana, when the four-year-old child started to show reluctance to spend time with his grandfather. When the family asked the child why this was the case, he gave answers indicating sexual abuse by the grandfather.

The 69-year-old man, only known by initials A.A., was detained in March last year, but later released pending trial.

Although the court handed down a prison sentence of 28 years for the man at the final hearing of the case, it refused to put him behind bars in a ruling which lawyers said “has no legal explanation.”

“We will file every means of appeal possible. The prosecutor's office had anyway demanded that the suspect be jailed. So, the prosecutor's office will probably file an appeal as well,” said lawyer Ayça Kara Sığırcı, who is also the Adana legal coordinator of the Association for the Abuse of Child Abuse (UCİM).

“This decision can create the impression that 'Even if I get 28 years [in jail], I may not be arrested.' Such suspects should stand trial arrested from the first day. The family is also in a desolate situation,” Sığırcı said.