There has been widespread shock in Greece over the case of rape, prostitution and extortion of a 12-year-old girl in Kolonos, Athens, which came to light on Monday after an investigation by the police’s juvenile protection department. The two men were arrested during a bust last Friday night.
The 53-year-old man in Greece who allegedly raped the 12-year-old girl on multiple occasions and forced her to perform sexual acts on other men for money was arrested on Tuesday, alongside one of his “clients”, a 42 year old man, who admitted to having paid to have “sexual relations” with the child four times.
Police are in the process of arresting 10 individuals the girl has identified as men that have paid to perform sexual acts on her out of 16 men she remembers in total. According to the prosecution 213 more men requested to pay to rape the minor through an illegal account the girl’s abuser had created, posing as a 16-year-old girl online.
Following a decision by the Athens Prosecutor on Wednesday the identities of the two men accused of the rape and forced prostitution of the child were released. The girl, who has given three official testimonies with the supervision and support of psychologists is reportedly in shock and unable to comprehend the extend of her abuse.
The main accused are Ilias Mihos, born on 30 December 1969 and the alleged rapist and ‘client’ has been named as Ioannis Sofianidis, born on 2 January 1980 in Nikaia, Attiki.
Mihos, was described as a “good and religious family man” by his neighbours and friends interviewed on state TV channel ERT. Mihos owns a mini market store in the suburb of Kolonos where the majority of alleged crimes were committed. The 53-year-old who was a member of the New Democracy political party, has been dropped by the committee and banned for life. Mihos was also a professional chanter at his local parish and a benefactor of several organisations and unions. He had often posted pictures of himself chanting in church on Facebook, pictures of him hugging members of the clergy and prominent politicians of the conservative spectrum, and many endorsements of actors. Many of those contacts are also under investigation.
During the raid, police found in his possession two pistols, 572 cartridges, 21 knives, a bayonet, two laptops and a hard disk- all of it has been confiscated as evidence.
Sofianidis, a father of three including a girl the same age of the victim, said that the “child was pressuring me for sex”. In his possession police found two USB drives.
The allegations are that Mihos charged 50 to 70 euros per “session” with some meet-ups going for 100 euros, money that according to the 12-year-old she never saw, or knew nothing about.
The sex appointments would take place near the metro station of Sepolia in western Athens and the girl would be sexually abused inside the clients’ cars or in rooms the location of which remains unknown to the girl.
“He and the others lined up to abuse this 12-year-old child. It is the obligation of the state, within the legal limits that it has – a matter of the honour for our legal culture – to make public the names of those that sought to line up to rape a 12-year-old girl,” government spokesperson Yiannis Economou said on Tuesday in an interview with ANT1 TV.
“I am aware that our legal system is obliged to follow the rules, but Greek society should know who these people are who walk among us. We are talking about a shocking case, which the Greek police have brought to light. I am absolutely certain that everything will be fully clarified…” he added, noting that Greek justice had the tools at its disposal for the exemplary punishment of the rapist and all his accomplices.
“With the change in the penal code, under conditions, if he is found guilty, he can get up to a life sentence. He was one of the members of New Democracy, he stopped being one as soon as it was made public,” the spokesperson said, stressing that there was nothing further to be said on this issue on a political level.
Oikonomou also suggested that the names of the 213 people who are alleged to have expressed interest in having sex with the girl should be revealed.
12-year old’s mother also arrested – Miho’s wife under investigation
The young girl was one of eight children in an underprivileged family. Her mother was the only parent working at the store of the alleged abuser, as a cleaner, and the girl would help her on school-free hours and days.
It was reported that the girl’s aunt discovered that she was being abused and was forced to offer sex services after she realised the girl was getting extremely anxious whenever she would receive text messages, according to local media and Alpha TV.
Speaking to Alpha TV earlier in the week, the victim’s mother initially said in outrage “I will kill him. If something happens and this man is released, because he has important people to cover for him, I will bury him myself”, stressing that she does not seek any money, only justice.
However, on Thursday police investigators revealed that the child’s mother has been involved in a different case of sexually exploiting her daughter since the age of 11, almost a year before Mihos and Sofianidis came into the picture. A secret account has was uncovered were a person close to Mihos was depositing money in the mother’s name.
A neighbour has also reported to the police that she had seen the mother take the girl to appointments with random men, then leave her with the men and watch her return later. The neighbour who testified anonymously said that this has been happening for over a year.
The child’s mother said that she had gone to the police department of Kolonos suburb to report the alleged crime, but her submission was not accepted. She reported Mihos for sexually abusing her daughter at the Attica Police Youth Protection Services days before the arrest, it was reported on MEGA, ANT1 and Skai TV channels.
Vasilis Lambropoulos has reported that there is photographic proof of the accused hugging the Director of the Kolonos Police Department. It was revealed that Mihos had made several significant donations to the Kolonos Police Department to gain the favour of the officers while he renewed his gun license there.
The 53-year-old’s wife of the accused perpetrator who was up until recently an elected representative of the New Democracy party, appears to also have been involved in the case. Evidence has arisen that she had tried to pay the child’s mother off in order to “bury the incident” by offering 10,000 euros. Elisavet Lekka said she had nothing to do with the alleged crimes. Lekka, an Athens city councillor who was expelled from the municipal faction of Mayor Kostas Bakoyiannis earlier this week, said that she separated from her husband three years ago but they continued to share the same home. Lekka was also a member of the board of the Municipal Nursery (where most orphan babies and children are housed in Athens), she has since been removed.
She has released a statement calling the allegations against her “lies” adding that her son “unjustifiably lost his job”.
Her son on Thursday said that he was fired by To Vima newspaper, where he worked as a journalist, after the allegations about his father became known.
Four sex workers connected to the case arrested
The Hellenic Police raided a brothel in central Athens late on Wednesday night in connection to the case of the rape and pimping of the 12-year-old girl. The raid followed information from a female sex worked who allegedly had in her possession a USB stick depicting Mihos, Sofianidis and other men, some of them allegedly established members of the community entering the brothel with the 12-year-old. According to a statement released by the police on Friday, four people one from Moldova and three from Colombia were arrested. No further comments have been made regarding the full extent of the woman’s allegations and her actual involvement in the case. The owner of the brothel, a man in his mid-40s is also under investigation, Kathimerini reported.
Lawyer claims two more teens have come forward accusing the two men
On Friday morning, lawyer Apostolos Lytras, who is also representing the 12-year-old’s mother told ERT and other media that two more girls, now 18-years-old have come forward to testify that they had been sexually abused and exploited by Mihos and Sofianidis when they were younger.
Police have not yet confirmed the statement but said on Thursday that they are investigating the case as part of a bigger network of human trafficking and that they do expect more victims to start coming forward as more names and evidence are released, AMNA reported.