Renowned Serbian – Belgrade Higher Court on Monday evening ordered a 30-day custody remand for well-known acting teacher Miroslav ‘Mika’ Aleksic, who is accused of raping several female pupils, at least one of whom was a minor at the time.
“The suspect is charged in the period from 2008 to 2020 with committing eight criminal acts of rape… and seven… illegal sexual acts … to the detriment of six injured parties, one of whom was a minor,” the Prosecutor’s Office told BIRN.
Aleksic was arrested on Saturday. Police said they detained him on “suspicion that he committed the criminal offences of rape and illicit sexual acts”. Aleksic denied the accusations during questioning.
Police said that the alleged offences took place “at the premises of the acting school in Belgrade whose owner he is”.
The daily newspaper Blic on Saturday published an interview with one accuser, Milena Radulovic, who said Aleksic raped her when she was 17 years old and that the sexual violence was repeated.
“I was at Mika Aleksic’s school for six years when he raped me. I was 17 years old. It did not happen once. It was repeated,” Radulovic told Blic.
“Mika took care that this [abuse] did not take place during class, but in the room next to the one where the other students were, or during the period when work intensified due to admissions to the FDA [Faculty of Dramatic Arts]. He did not leave room for anyone to suspect that something so terrible was happening there,” Radulovic said.
Aleksic was arrested on the evening the interview was published. In the meantime, two more women accused Aleksic of similar acts. Suspecting that Aleksic sexually assaulted other women, police have called on them to report him.
Aleksic was a film director who, during the 1980s, worked at the drama group of Radio Belgrade, while he later established his own private drama studio, “Matter of the heart” [Stvar srca].
His acting school is popular in Serbia and, according to some local media, around 3,000 people attended his classes over four decades. Many of today’s famous actors and actresses, TV presentees and journalists were at the school.
Some of them have publicly supported Radulovic.
Besides running the acting school, local media reported that Aleksic was close to the notorious late war criminal Zeljko Raznatovic “Arkan” who orchestrated many war crimes in Croatia and Bosnia before being shot dead in 2000.
Besides filming him during the war in Croatia in Tenja, Croatia, he directed his wedding with folk singer Svetlana “Ceca” Raznatovic in 1995 and also stood as a candidate for Arkan’s political party in the 1993 elections in Serbia.
Publicly admitting to being a victim of rape or of any kind of sexual violence or harassment remains rare in Serbia. When women do speak out, they are often targeted in smear campaigns, on social networks but also in their hometowns.
The best known recent case was of Marija Lukic, who worked in the municipality of Brus as secretary to the now former mayor, Milutin Jelicic.
When she launched a case against him, she sent the court about 15,000 text messages Jelicic had sent her over a two-year period. Lukic said Jelicic had conditioned her promotion on sexual favours and was persistent in his intentions. Jelicic was sentenced to three months in prison.
So far, the only actress who has publicly spoken out about rape in the acting industry was Danijela Stajnfeld. In September 2020, she said a powerful man from the film industry had raped her, but she did not name him.
NOTE: This article was updated on January 19, 2021 to include the court’s decision on custody.