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Le procès pour viol d'un entraîneur de voile grec commence alors que le mouvement #MeToo s'accélère

Le procès pour viol d'un entraîneur de voile grec commence alors que le mouvement #MeToo s'accélère
The case came to light after Olympic sailing champion Sofia Bekatorou spoke out about her sexual abuse

UNE grec former sailing coach accused of raping a child has gone on trial in Athens, in a case that surfaced last year after an Olympic champion spoke out about her experience of sexual abuse and effectively kickstarted Grèce's #Moi aussi mouvement.

Triantafyllos Apostolou, 39, appeared in court on Wednesday to face trial for the alleged rape of an 11-year-old girl in 2010.

The case came to light after former Olympic sailing champion Sofia Bekatorou spoke out in December 2020 about her own abuse as a young woman by a sports official, with her revelations spurring many victims of sexual assault in Greece to come forward.

A crowd gathered outside the Athens court to express support for the alleged victim, now aged 21, and Ms Bekatorou, who is a witness in the trial.

Ms Bekatorou, in consultation with the woman, brought the accusations to the attention of the Athens Prosecutor’s Office last January.

The alleged victimwho has not been named – says she was forced into several non-consensual sexual encounters at the age of 11 with Mr Apostolou. He was her sailing coach at the time.

The accused revealed his identity in an interview with Greek media last January, shortly before he was arrested.

In an interview with newspaper Proto Thema, Mr Apostolou claimed that the young athlete had been older, the relationship had been consensual, and her mother had been aware.

Avant le procès, the alleged victim told Greek television channel ANT1 that she had long feared coming forward about her abuse.

“I hope my decision gives the same courage that Sofia Bekatorou gave me with her own accusation," elle a dit. “We must break the silence, punish the abusers, and cease any stigma for victims of sexual abuse.”

Ms Bekatorou, who won a gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics, has previously outlined how she was sexually assaulted in 1998 – when she was 21 – by a member of the Hellenic Sailing Federation. Her case cannot be pursued by prosecutors as the statue of limitation for râpé is capped at 15 années.

Sofia Bekatorou arrives at a court in Athens, Grèce, au 12 janvier

Her revelations were the catalyst for Greece’s relatively recent #MeToo movement, starting conversations about sexism and gender-based violence and encouraging victims of abuse to speak out on social media and report their cases to the authorities.

The Greek art world has faced the biggest reckoning to-date; several famous actors and directors lost work after being accused of abuse, and the former director of Greece’s national theatre was arrested last February on multiple charges of rape.

Since Ms Bekatorou first spoke out, some reforms have been enacted. Greece’s conservative government has introduced a new penal code which imposed tougher penalties for the exploitation of children and extended the statute of limitations for reporting sexual harassment and the abuse of minors.

pourtant, the trial of Mr Apostolou is one of the first to have been brought to court since Greece’s #MeToo movement took off last year. The trial is set to continue on 26 janvier.