Less than a month after Olympic gold medalist Sofia Bekatorou accused a Hellenic Sailing Federation official of raping her in 1998, the Prosecutor’s Office has seen scores of cases of sexual abuse that have already led to the jailing of actor Dimitris Lignadis and another man, from the island of Samos, with both facing rape charges.
Lignadis, the former artistic director of Greece’s National Theater, has been remanded in custody in the southern city of Tripoli, as the examining magistrate and a prosecutor agreed that the testimony of two men, who were minors when the alleged rapes occurred, warranted Lignadis jailing, because he was regarded as liable to commit similar acts.
A panel of judges, petitioned by Lignadis’ lawyer, agreed with the rationale behind the decision.
According to sources within the Athens Prosecutor’s Office and lawyers of the alleged victims, more people are ready to come forward with similar accusations against Lignadis.
But the Prosecutor’s Office also has other cases to handle. Kathimerini understands that the priority investigation concerns a well-known actor, who has starred in several TV series, because the statute of limitations on the rape accusations against him expires in two months.
There are two more cases concerning actors, one accused of rape and one of attempted rape. These were sent to the Prosecutor’s Office by the Greek Actors’ Guild (SEH). One of the accused is also a well-known actor, whose accuser is a colleague living abroad, while the other accused actor is not so well known, Kathimerini understands.
These cases are given priority and it is said that other accusations of sexual harassment, which do not involve rape, and of verbal abuse will not be taken up, at least for the time being, since they are considered more difficult to prosecute.