Saturday, May 26, 2018
News Roundup

Tarpon cross diving winner gets juvenile diversion in rape case

TARPON SPRINGS — The alleged sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl in Tarpon Springs set off a wave of publicity and Internet gabbing this spring.

But after all the publicity, the case is now being handled in a quieter way.

Jared Alissandratos, who was arrested by Tarpon Springs police on suspicion of sexual battery in April, will not be tried in adult court, Chief Assistant State Attorney Bruce Bartlett said Monday.

Alissandratos' attorney, Dean Tsourakis, said his client has entered what is known as a juvenile diversion program. It's a program in the juvenile system that requires a youth to complete various tasks, but does not leave them with an adult criminal record. Records of such programs are not made public.

"The state did a very thorough investigation of the facts of this case," Tsourakis said. "We cooperated with the state at every turn."

Alissandratos was a winner of the Tarpon Springs 2012 cross-driving competition, an annual tradition more than a century old that is affiliated with the Greek Orthodox Church.

At the time of the arrest, police said three boys may have "taken advantage" of the girl while she was intoxicated at a house party hosted by Alissandratos, 17.

The case caused a strong reaction in the tight-knit Tarpon Springs community, where some people turned to Twitter and other social media to criticize the girl. That led her father to write in defense of her, saying that while she drank alcohol that night, "Her lapse in judgment, however, does not condone the actions of the accused."

Tsourakis said that his understanding was that one of the other boys also was put in a juvenile diversion program.

Curtis Krueger can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8232, or on Twitter @ckruegertimes.

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