Teen rape case sparks reaction

Support grew yesterday for the 16-year-old girl at the center of rape allegations, as Greek President Karolos Papoulias spoke out against her alleged attackers, while Health Ministry officials met with the teenager and her mother. «It is a shocking moment for our society,» said Papoulias. «We are all responsible. We are citizens of a country where the most noble ideas developed. We cannot let some people… blacken this.» Papoulias was reacting to unrest in the small town of Amarynthos on Evia where many locals have accused the girl of making up a story that she was raped by four schoolboys. The girl and her mother are from Bulgaria and moved to Greece in 1999. This has prompted some officials to suggest that racism has led to the reaction on Evia. «Greeks have experienced expatriation and racism and we will not impose what we have been through on the immigrants living and working here,» said Papoulias. Deputy Health Minister Giorgos Constantopoulos also met with the 16-year-old and her mother, who have not been named because of privacy laws. Constantopoulos said that the ministry would provide any assistance the girl needs. She has moved to Athens since the alleged incident on October 27. The high school where the alleged rape took place decided yesterday to suspend the schoolboys for five days as well as their alleged victim. School officials did not take any action against the three girls said to have witnessed the incident. The 16-year-old claimed that one of the girls recorded the incident on her mobile phone. No such video was found but authorities have asked a mobile phone company to check if it may have been deleted or sent on to anyone else.

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