Award-winning Greek author of children’s books arrested by Police for videos of child pornography

Award-winning children’s book author Vassilis Papatheodorou has been arrested by police for online child pornography. The author through his lawyer claims the videos he downloaded were meant for a book project on the matter.

Greek police

Vassilis Papatheodorou, a 53-year-old Greek book author for children and teenagers has been arrested on October 18 and remanded in custody in Tripoli, a southern Greek city. A case was automatically filed with online child pornography criminal charges against the author.

The Cyber Crime Division of Greek police announced on November 2 they arrested a suspect and solved a case of online child pornography, following information received by foreign authorities through international police cooperation. The Athens District Attorney’s Office allowed Police to further investigate the case and identify the person and his location. The house of the suspect was searched and two hard drives with files of child pornography were found and confiscated and the alleged criminal was put in custody. More than 90 videos of child pornography were reportedly found, some of which featured children under the age of 12.

The police don’t give the name of the suspect and news of the arrest of Mr. Papatheodorou, which took place in mid-October, was not revealed until now.

According to, his lawyer Stavros Georgopoulos says that Mr. Papatheodorou used a specific software to download child pornography to gather material for a book he was working on. He argues his client downloaded files in bulk once with no preview and has not watched most of the videos, nor did he intend to know their content. He said his client was in a very bad psychological state and that he didn’t expect such development.

Greek publishing house Kastaniotis announced on November 2 it stopped its collaboration with Vassilis Papatheodorou “as soon as it was informed that a criminal investigation is underway by the judicial authorities for a serious accusation.” Mr. Papatheodorou also headed Kastaniotis children’s department.

Accusations of child pornography against one of the most famous authors in Greece have shaken the world of Greek literature.

Mr. Papatheodorou won multiple awards for his illustrated books for children and novels for adolescents, including the Greek state prize for children’s literature in 2008 and 2010.

The author was one of the 251 nominees revealed on October 23 for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2023. Following the news of his arrest, the Hellenic Author’s Society said it was withdrawing his nomination for this award created by the Swedish government given annually for “outstanding contribution to children’s and young adult literature.”

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Cyber Crime Division of Greek police, November 2022, non-secure access

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