Veteran Olympic champion Sofia Bekatorou was summoned to testify before prosecutor Sotiria Papageorgakopoulou on Wednesday, after she reported that she had been sexually abused by a Sailing Federation official in 1998.
Despite the launch of the prosecutor’s investigation, other possible victims of similar behaviour must now come forward to testify in order for the case to be prosecuted, as the offences Ms Bekatorou described are now statute-barred.
Ms Bekatorou told the Greek edition of Marie Claire that she had suffered the assault in 1998 when she was 21 years of age.
Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis commended the athlete on social media for speaking up.
On Monday, Greece’s president, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, praised Ms Bekatorou for dissolving a potential “conspiracy of silence”.
Following the meeting, Ms Bekatorou thanked Ms Sakellaropoulou for her support. “You have me the opportunity to convey to every victim that victory and the healing of wounds from this crime is not eased with times, but with the public revelation and punishment,” she said.
“Silence is painful and we cannot purge crime from its roots with tolerance and indifference.”
Ms Bekatorou, who won a gold medal at the Athens Games in 2004, told the Greek edition of Marie Claire last month that she suffered the assault in 1998, when she was 21. Sakellaropoulou met Bekatorou on Monday and said her courage offered hope to other women in her situation.
Ms Bekatorou has yet to publicly name the official in question, however Hellenic Sailing Federation Vice Chairman Aristidis Adamopoulos resigned on Saturday.