Actor and former artistic director of Greece’s National Theater, Dimitris Lignadis, is now facing the possibility of a higher sentence in the appellate court, after the Appeals Prosecutor’s Office appealed against two parts of the decision of the Mixed Jury Court that sentenced him to a total of 12 years in prison for two cases of rapes of minors, declaring him innocent for two other cases.
Lignadis was released from prison on parole, after his conviction and until his own appeal is examined at a second instance court.
Following the Prosecutor’s appeal the ex director will face the possibility of a higher sentence if found guilty, state-run news agency amna reported Friday afternoon.
The prosecutor decided that the former head of the National Theater should be given a higher sentence for the two cases of rape he was found guilty of.
She justified her position by citing the seriousness and moral immorality of the actions attributed to him as well as the harm he caused to the victims. She also emphasized that the intensity of Dimitris Lignadis’s deceit, as well as his exploitation of the trust of the victims due to their minor age, should be evaluated by the court and “answered” with stricter criminal treatment of the accused.
It is recalled that the MOD imposed a 10-year prison sentence for one rape and 5 years for the other, with a final sentence of 12 years in prison.
At the same time, the public prosecutor’s office requested that his acquittal for the third charge of rape against a minor, for which the MOD declared him innocent by a majority of 5 to 2, be reviewed. This is one of the two rapes for which the actor was acquitted. The second one involved an adult who did not appear in court. The verdict on the rape of the adult man was unanimous.
According to the appeal, both from the testimony of the 26-year-old plaintiff himself and from evidence that emerged from the hearing, the act of rape against the then-minor boy has been committed. The complainant by the victim, an Egyptian national, was the first of the plaintiffs to testify in court and described the accused approaching him through another boy and promising to help him get into theater business. The defendant himself, apologizing, claimed that he had no direct contact with him and that their communication, if there was as he stated, would only be through social networking platforms.
Lignadis’ prison release on parole until his appeal has triggered an outrage in the society and the world of arts. In many theater performances and concerts, groups of people raised banners reading “He is a rapist”, while actors read texts condemning the release, while the heel kept ongoing on social media.
Βefore the court verdict on July 13, Lignadis’ requests for release were denied by justice authorities with the argument that he was “dangerous” to repeat the crimes he was accused of.
After his release, many wondered why he was not “dangerous” despite his conviction for two cases of rape.