A court case has been launched in Athens against a sailing coach accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old student. The now 22-year-old woman decided to start the case after contacting top sailor Sofia Bekatorou. She revealed about a year ago that she was abused in 1998 by a senior official at the Hellenic Sailing Federation.
The revelations of Bekatorou, the 2004 Olympic champion in the 470 class, sparked a stir and sparked a MeToo movement in the Greek sports world. Since then, many more women in all walks of life have made similar experiences public. This is the first lawsuit.
Bekatorou, with the consent of the 22-year-old woman, brought the matter to the attention of a prosecutor who had launched an investigation into sexual abuse by sports officials. The victim says her sailing instructor, when she was 11, sexually abused her several times and also used psychological violence so that she did not dare tell her parents. The 38-year-old suspect denies all allegations.
The Greek government has meanwhile introduced tougher penalties for sexual abuse and extended the statute of limitations for abuse against minors. Victims can now also contact a website and helpline.