A well-known Greek stage actor and director has been arrested on rape charges, police say.
Dimitris Lignadis, 56, turned himself in Saturday afternoon at Athens police headquarters, Greek Police spokesman, Theodoros Chronopoulos, told the Associated Press.
On Sunday, Lignadis appeared before a court in Athens and was given until Wednesday to respond to charges of multiple rapes by an examining magistrate. He will remain jailed until then, court authorities said.
The magistrate and a prosecutor will jointly decide later whether he will be kept in jail or released pending his trial.
According to court sources, Lignadis is accused of rape by two men who were minors when the events occurred in 2010 and 2015. He has denied any wrongdoing.
Rumors of his alleged sexual misconduct swelled in recent weeks, leading to Lignadis’ resignation two weeks ago as Artistic Director of Greece’s National Theater, a post he had held since 2019.
Revelations earlier this year by an Olympic gold medalist that she had been raped by a sailing federation official back in 1998 have sparked a #MeToo movement reckoning in Greece.
People have come forward to accuse well-known figures in the entertainment industry of sexual harassment, assault and rape. Well-known actors and directors have come under fire, but Lignadis is the first to be arrested.
The case has taken on political dimensions. The political opposition accused the Greek government of failing to follow up on complaints, while the Culture Minister, Lina Mendoni, responded on Friday by accusing Lignadis of being a “dangerous man” who had “deceived” her with his acting ability.
Ms Mendoni said she asked a Supreme Court prosecutor to investigate all abuse allegations in Greece’s theater community.
Source: AP News.