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Media focus on Corfu man convicted in 2015 for 6 rapes of UK tourists, freed in 2019 and arrested again for sexual assault

A short prison sentenced served by a 47-year-old Corfu man arrested on rape charges over the weekend, after first attempting to elude police by jumping down a steep cliff on the Ionian island, generated a firestorm of media attention in Greece and the UK, as the man in 2015 was convicted of raping six British women, receiving a 53-year sentence.

Nevertheless, he was freed last year under the controversial “Paraskevopoulos law”, named after the leftist SYRIZA government justice minister who signed off on legislation to slash jail times and sentencing for a varieties of offenses, by combining convictions and granting more time-off for good behavior behind bars.

The previous Tsipras government, in fact, brought the draft legislation to Parliament in the waning days before the legislature closed due to a snap election on July 6, which the once-radical leftists convincingly lost to conservative New Democracy (ND) party.

Dubbed by local media as the “ogre of Kerkyra (Corfu)”, police acted on a complaint filed by a 34-year-old foreign national, who charged that the ex-con lured her to a remote spot in the island’s sparsely populated south end, near Lefkimi, threatened her with a knife and then repeatedly raped her.  

One of the man victims appeared on British television to recount her ordeal, while the story was also picked up by British tabloids.

When cornered by up to 50 police officers on Saturday, the suspect jumped off a cliff, sustaining severe injuries to his extremities and back. He was retrieved by firefighters and taken to a local hospital.