A nine-year-old girl in the Bornova district of the western Turkish province of İzmir has died after suffering a heart attack, two days before she was due to appear in court to testify as a victim of abuse by a 56-year-old suspect.
The girl died in a hospital on Nov. 21 after suffering a heart attack, suspected to have been prompted by mounting stress in the aftermath of sexual abuse. The suspected abuser, identified only by the initials T.Ç., is the grandfather of one of her friends.
The abuse is said to have occurred on July 29 at a room in T.C.’s home, where she had gone to play with her friend.
After learning about the abuse of their daughter, the parents of the victim filed a criminal complaint against T.C., who was detained but later released pending trial. The first hearing of the trial began on Nov. 23.
The victim of the assault was reportedly traumatized after the assault and stopped going to school. She was also unable to stay alone and repeatedly peed herself.
While receiving psychological support to overcome the trauma, the young girl’s stress reportedly grew as the trial day approached, and she was struck by the heart attack two days before the trial was due to begin.
The father of the victim vowed that they would not stop pursuing the case.
“After the abuse, my daughter was very scared. We moved to the area shortly before the incident. Apparently all of our neighbors knew the issue about the man, and they even warned our girl,” said the father, vowing to do all he could to make sure the assailant gets a heavy sentence.
The lawyer of the family, Ayşe Esra Ünlü Polat, said the suspect did not accept the charges against him. She said the victim was taken to hospital by her family after her heart attack ahead of the trial. “The family is in a horrible situation now. And despite with such a charge against him, the suspect is still free to wander around outside ahead of the trial. It is not even known whether the suspect will flee before the trial starts,” said Ünlü Polat.