Arrested and remanded in custody for possessing child pornography with children under the age of 12, 55 year old children's literature writer Papatheodorou is protesting his innocence from Tripoli prison, where he has been detained since 18 October.
From the moment of his arrest Papatheodorou, who is one of Greece's most renowned children's authors, has claimed that he "downloaded" the material from the internet for the "needs" of his new book, a position that did not convince the judicial authorities, who decided on his pre-trial detention.
In an apologetic memorandum Vassilis Papatheodorou claimed that "I am not a pedophile" and that "I felt disgust, disgust, disgust and deep regret" for the confiscated material, according to reports from Greek TV station, SKAI.
"From the outset I want to state with all honesty and decency that I am not and have never been a pedophile in my life. I felt no satisfaction or pleasure from the confiscated material. Instead, I felt loathing, disgust, disgust, and deep sorrow. The material found is raw material for my book on the subject of the Internet, the dangers that lurk in the light of sexual abuse and exploitation of minors. In the book I would write, I would have as a central theme the danger of the internet for the abuse and sexual exploitation of a young teenager," Vassilis Papatheodorou argued.
Authorities have been monitoring the movements of author Vassilis Papatheodorou for five years, however, the Prosecution of Electronic Crime raised the alarm over the past year, when the accused began to continuously download and store hard files of child pornography, both from the open and the "dark" Internet.
"He wanted access to primary material to write a book," Papatheodorou's lawyer claims.
Over this period Papatheodorou continuously downloaded and stored pornographic material featuring children under the age of 12. During the police raid on his house, two hard drives were found with over 100 videos of particularly hard material.
"Primary material was needed for a new book," argued Papatheodorou’s lawyer Stavros Georgopoulos.
"His position is that the images and videos from the seized material disgust and disgust him as well. The reason they were in his possession was that he wanted to look for primary material that he would process, refine in his own mind as a writer, so that he could write a book that would denounce, embellish incidents of sexual abuse of minors," said Georgopoulos.
Commenting on the ELAS reports of 100 videos of hard pornographic material with children under 12 on his computer, Georgopoulos stated that the way the app works is to require one to, “download these videos in bulk, with no preview, making it seem that he has seen everything, although what he has seen he has seen in fragments. He had done research, he had revealed that he intended to write such a book."
Vassilis Papatheodorou has authored books for children and teenagers that address “issues such as bullying and sexism in schools, interpersonal relationships, racism and repressed homosexuality,” as noted on the back cover of one of his books.
According to his official website, Papatheodorou frequently visited schools all over Greece to speak with kids about issues such as these that they may face.
Papatheodorou has been awarded the Greek state prize for children’s literature twice, once in 2008 and also in 2010.
In light of the current allegations, the Hellenic Author’s Society said that it was withdrawing its nomination for Papatheodorou for the 2022 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.
Up until now Papatheodorou has headed the children’s division for Greek publisher Kastaniotis, however the publisher announced on Wednesday that it has ended its relationship with the award winning children’s author since learning of the charges against him.
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