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Society

Former Theater Chief Lignadis Faces Court as Sex Scandals in Greece’s Arts Grow

February 24, 2021

ATHENS – With the former head of the Greek National Theater jailed on charges of committing two rapes – which he denied – the actors association  said it will give a prosecutor more reports of sexual misconduct in the community.

That could see the investigations expanding deeper into the sector as Dimitris Lignadis, 56, who stepped down as the chief of the national theater, remains detained and has asked for more time to prepare his defense, said Kathimerini.

One of the cases against him includes that of a 14-year-old boy said to have happened in 2010 and a hearing was scheduled for Feb. 24 where he was due to appear in court.

He is being represented by Greece’s best-known criminal attorney, Alexis Kougias, who said that prosecution witnesses against his client are “professional homosexuals,” said the business newspaper Naftemporiki.

In a written statement, he attacked the preliminary indictment and said that he expected it would include “evidence to justify this criminal prosecution for the offense of serial rapes.

He said it should also have included an arrest warrant and “a procedural act, which is foreseen in extreme cases, when prosecutors and jurists consider two conditions: the first being when a suspect is charged with illegal behavior that is currently ongoing, and secondly, when it is widely considered that he will disappear or flee overseas.”

He also said the case is built on unreliable lies but offered no specifics to back it up other than his assertion.

The head of the Athens first instance prosecutor's office is also looking into allegations he sexuallly abused unaccompanied refugee minors from detention camps who were sent to him for drama lessons, also said Naftemporiki.

Kathimerini said the union’s file, which will be delivered by the chairman of its disciplinary council, also includes a complaint by a former actress against a very popular actor, who allegedly raped her several years ago.

No names were given but the actor, said the paper, was  already being investigated by judicial authorities for other allegations of serious sexual harassment and the attempted rape of a colleague.

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