Physical and sexual abuse of children increased dramatically during the pandemic in Greece, with sexual abuse of girls almost doubling from 2020 to 2022, according to the Forensic Service of Thessaloniki.

Between 2004 and 2008, a total 56 incidents involving sexual abuse and 20 involving physical abuse were examined, while from 2020 to October 2022 a total of 72 children with physical injuries and 60 underage boys and 88 underage girls were examined for sexual abuse. From the numbers examined, 60 per cent were deemed as child sexual abuse.

“Incidents of physical and sexual abuse of children have soared during the pandemic. The problem is much more extensive than what reaches and is recorded in the services, due to the fact that the services are not decentralized, there is no proper training of paediatricians to recognise the problem and there is no proper place where everything can be carried out as required for a complete check so that the abused child will not suffer additionally,” said medical examiner Eleni Zagelidou and head of the Forensic Service of Thessaloniki on Wednesday. Ms Zagelidou is leading a team of specialist scientists trying to shed light on the most important forms of child abuse: emotional, physical and sexual.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis paid a visit to the Ministry of Citizens’ Protection on Wednesday, stressing that the security of citizens is a key priority of the government.

“No crime will be left in the dark; Greece is a safe country that deals with every threat,” he said, noting that security is a fundamental right of citizens. It is inextricably linked to stability, social peace, development and the right to progress, and constitutes a necessary condition for the unhindered exercise of every individual and social right,” he underlined.

Policeman implicated and links to paedophilesMore harrowing revelations have surfaced regarding the rape case of a 12-year-old girl in the district of Kolonos, Athens, Greece.

Police have alleged that the actual number of people that have had illegal sexual interactions with the 12-year-old could be between 70-80, while a women is believed to have also been among the rapists.

Meanwhile, a young policeman serving in the Attica Police Headquarters (GADA), has reportedly been implicated in the case.

According to evidence cited by state broadcaster ERT, the policeman appears to have had extensive conversations with her. He is expected to be summoned to provide a written explanation or give a statement.

Police investigations have revealed that the girl’s supposed casual employer, 53-year-old mini-market owner Ilias Mihos (also seen in media as Elias Michos) took the minor to a two-story building in the centre of Athens, a ‘studio’ where it was believed that meetings with paedophiles took place.

Police are attempting to identify the brothel worker who allegedly told Mihos “she is young, we will get into trouble.” According to data collected by the Department of Protection of Minors of Attica Security, it is known that the minor was sent to this central location five times, during days she was expected to be at work at the mini-market.

Data analysts and investigators concluded that the 53-year-old was harbouring relationships with known paedophiles, who did not know the girl from the online profiles he managed of her, but that he had personal contact with Mihos.

The girl was raped by five of Mihos’ paying customers each day she spent at the brothel. According to the prosecution all the money went directly to Mihos. There were about 20-25 specific paedophiles who operated in that area, and the operations of the ‘studio’ are expected to add more evidence to the investigation.

Police analysts, said that the way the paedophiles communicated with Mihos, arranging meetings at the “red traffic lights is key for identifying initiated paedophiles.”

The 53-year-old reportedly sent explicit photos and videos of the minor to potential clients who did not make contact online.

Earlier in the week, two of the three men arrested on warrants were remanded in custody.

One of the men is a 36-year-old hospital administration worker at Metaxas hospital who has also been arrested for the rape and sexual exploitation of the minor, including paying to have sex with a minor.

Appearing before an examining magistrate on Sunday, he was given until Monday to prepare his testimony while Health Minister Thanos Plevris announced his immediate suspension from the hospital.

Protesters hold a banner and placards during a demonstration against rapes and the attempt to cover them up regarding the case of the rape and prostitution of a 12-year-old girl in Kolonos, Athens by Ilias Mihos, a local businessman, and the rape of a 19-year-old girl by two police officers inside the Omonia police station. Photo: AAP/Maria Makraki / SOPA

Probe launched over media leak of the victim’s interview with the psychologist containing explicit information

Τhe Athens Public Prosecutor’s Office has ordered an investigation after testimony given to police authorities by the 12-year-old girl describing in detail the systematic rapes and pimping by the 53-year-old man and other men at the brothel and in private cars, with the alleged collusion of her mother, was leaked to the media. The media leaks detail the 12-year-old girl’s remarks regarding the sexual abuse to a child psychologist, in the context of the investigation being carried out by police in confidence.

The probe is seeking to identify who had access to the file and leaked the statement in its entirety, violating confidentiality rules for the protection of the minor. A well known TV channel is also under investigation for leaking clothed but inappropriate photos of the 12-year-old girl as photographed by the 53-year-old for the online dating/sexual encounter app he used on her behalf.

Part of the content of the conversations leaked to the media contains several sms-based exchanges between the girl and the mother, with the latter harassing the 12-year-old on a daily and often hourly basis for money while the child complained that “please mum I need to calm down. I can’t take this anymore”.

The mother appears to have pressured her child and even threatened her in order to force her to ask her aunt and other relatives to transfer money to her account to pay bills or buy her other kids food, and so she can source weed cigarettes.

The National Broadcasting Council is also examining the leak, while the journalists’ union (ESIEA) issued a statement, noting that journalistic ethics must be respected.

Omonoia Police Station in Athens under investigation over 19-year-old woman’s rape accusations

Meanwhile the Attica Police Headquarters (GADA) have been pressured to follow up on allegations from a 19-year-old woman that reported being raped by two police officers at the Omonia Police station in central Athens.

Two police officers of the DIAS motorcycle squad were charged for the alleged crime that took place in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The two men, aged 24 and 27, were arrested by the police’s internal affairs unit on Friday morning who is leading the investigation.

Both suspects reject the charge, claiming that the sex was consensual. They are expected to testify before an investigative magistrate, Kathimerini reported.

According to sources, the young woman encountered the police officers near the ISAP train station in Thisio, in central Athens, where they asked her to meet them at the Omonia police station at 11.30pm.

The woman arrived at the station and followed three of the four who were on duty inside. It was not clear why they asked her to come to the police station or what they discussed.

When she asked to go to the bathroom, she was taken to the basement, near the officers’ changing room, where she was sexually assaulted by the alleged offenders.

The 19-year-old left the police station in shock and confided what had happened to a friend.

The next morning she visited a doctor who examined her and urged her to report the incident to the police.

The woman filed a complaint with the police station in Patission and subsequently gave a statement to the police.

Investigators found that the police station’s security camera had been disabled, but footage from another camera in a nearby hotel confirms the victim’s entry and exit from the police station.

They also found and confiscated one of the alleged perpetrators’ body camera in a closet. The alleged victim had reported to the police officers at Patission that she was scared to put up a fight due to fearing she was being recorded by one of the Omonia station police officers whose body camera was on.

The public prosecutor’s office is examining whether to charge the other two officers who were on duty, who reiterated the claims of the accused.

54-year-old man in Athens arrested for the rape of his 14-year-old daughter

In the latest incident involving the sexual abuse of a minor, police arrested a 54-year-old man accused of raping his 14-year-old daughter.

According to reports, the girl told police officers that her father had been raping her since she was 11 years old.

The suspect, who is a resident of Drapetsona, in southwestern Athens appeared before a prosecutor on Tuesday, 18 October charged with committing sexual acts with a minor under the age of 14 and repeated sexual acts between relatives. The case is under further investigation.

28-year-old man in Agrinio, arrested for sexually abusing 4-year-old boy

A local prosecutor published the picture and the name of a 28-year-old local football player who was found to have been sexually abusing a 4-year-old boy in Agrinio, western Greece.

The man, named as Dimitrios Kravaritis allegedly abused the child in the house where his mother was working as a babysitter. The man has yet to be arrested.

On 19 October, the 4-year-old’s family lawyer, Pantelis Vamvakas said that “it is unacceptable, unimaginable, yet the case will get the justice it deserves no matter what”.

The child and the family are being supported and monitored by a team of psychologists while the prosecutor awaits Kravaritis’ testimony.

Kravaritis, who started his career as a footballer at Elpides Agriniou moved on to Episkopi Kritis in Rethymno.

He has since been removed from the club.

It has been alleged that the accused, has repeatedly abused the child with the knowledge and assistance of his babysitter mother who is also expected to face charges.

Man in northern Greece arrested for the rape of 12-year-old girl

A 30-year-old man accused by a 12-year-old girl from northern Greece of rape was arrested and sent to pretrial detention on Thursday, 20 October.

According to the complaint, as reported by AMNA, the alleged crime was committed last August.

The girl told police that the man approached her at a square in the town of Katerini, in northern Greece, where she was playing with a friend and convinced her to follow him to his apartment where she was sexually abused.

After appearing before an investigative magistrate, he was sent to jail. The investigation into the allegation is ongoing.

Where to turn to report child abuse in Greece:

– National Telephone Line for Children 1056 of the Children’s Smile Association, 24/7, free of charge.

– National Child Protection Line 1107 of the National Center for Social Solidarity, 24/7.

– “Together for the Child” 11525.

These telephone hotlines accept verbal and anonymous reports.