Sunday, June 24, 2018
Public safety

After responses to rape accusation, Tarpon Springs father defends daughter

TARPON SPRINGS — He read the tweets, the derogatory statements about his daughter. And after the fury passed, he crafted a response.

The father of the Tarpon Springs High School teen who has accused a male schoolmate of rape said Tuesday that he wrote a nine-paragraph statement to defend her.

"Trust me, I wanted to say so much more," he said. "And I will after the state is done handling the case."

The Tampa Bay Times is withholding his name to protect the identity of his daughter.

The accused, 17-year-old Jared Alissandratos, was charged last week with sexually battering an intoxicated 15-year-old girl during a house party.

Alissandratos, a winner of the 2012 cross dive during the city's Greek Orthodox Epiphany celebration, faces a charge of sexual battery of the physically incapacitated girl, a first-degree felony that carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.

He admitted having sex with his accuser, a police report said, though it is unclear whether he believed it was consensual.

After Alissandratos' arrest, some Tarpon High students took to Twitter, using the hashtag #FreeJared and calling the young victim, among an array of insulting terms, "a liar." Others lashed back, defending her.

The social media melee attracted the loosely organized "hacktivist" group Anonymous, notorious for targeting the FBI, credit card companies and, more recently, apparent rapists. When two football players in Steubenville, Ohio, were accused of rape last year, Anonymous hacked the football team's website, threatening to disclose personal information.

The Tarpon Springs girl's father said he wanted to clear his daughter's name without revealing it. This week, he contacted Twitter user "Priest," who self-identifies as an Anonymous member, to post and publicize the message.

"She is not having 'next day' regrets," he wrote in the statement. "It wasn't until the accused admitted to her what happened that she fully realized the horrific reality of what happened that night."

The father also described disappointment in his daughter's decisions that night, which, according to police, included underage drinking.

"Her lapse in judgment, however, does not condone the actions of the accused," he wrote.

Eventually, he said Tuesday, she will resume her studies at Tarpon High. Once the case is over, he believes, the bullying will stop.

Danielle Paquette can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4224.

Comments
Father dead, suspect in custody after hit-and-run driver plows into New Tampa family on bike ride

Father dead, suspect in custody after hit-and-run driver plows into New Tampa family on bike ride

A Tampa man is dead and his 3-year-old son is in serious condition after being struck by a hit-and-run driver as they went on a family bike ride Sunday afternoon.A male suspect is in custody and being interviewed by police but his name has not yet be...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Suspect dead, 2 injured in St. Petersburg home invasion-turned-shooting

Suspect dead, 2 injured in St. Petersburg home invasion-turned-shooting

ST. PETERSBURGSuspect dead, 2 injured in home invasion, shootingThree people forced their way into a St. Petersburg house before dawn Sunday before gunfire broke out, killing a suspect and injuring two residents, police said.About 5:30 a.m., the peop...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Head-on crash kills Pasco teenager, injures three

Head-on crash kills Pasco teenager, injures three

NEW PORT RICHEY — A 19-year-old driver died in a three-car crash on Moon Lake Road on Saturday afternoon, the Florida Highway Patrol reported.Jillian Faith Hitt, 19 and of New Port Richey, was driving north on the road in a 2008 Hyundai Accent, weari...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Police: St. Petersburg driver falls asleep at wheel after drinking, kills motorcyclist

Police: St. Petersburg driver falls asleep at wheel after drinking, kills motorcyclist

ST. PETERSBURG — A 22-year-old driver fell asleep at the wheel after drinking and ran a red light, hitting and killing a motorcyclist Saturday night, police said.Just before midnight, Michael P. Majchrowski, 48, was riding a 2016 BMW motorcycle eastb...
Published: 06/24/18
Authorities find

Authorities find "inmate" who walked away from Bilirakis event

The 23-year-old man who authorities said walked away from a New Port Richey political event while under supervision of a treatment center on Saturday has been located.The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office described Nicholas Moore, 23, as both an "inmate"...
Published: 06/23/18
FHP: Wrong-way driver hit 100 miles per hour before sideswiping car

FHP: Wrong-way driver hit 100 miles per hour before sideswiping car

A Clearwater man who authorities said sideswiped a car while driving more than 100 miles per hour the wrong way on U.S. 41 was arrested Friday. Wendel Jamel James, 35, is charged with DUI with property damage, reckless driving and leaving the scene ...
Published: 06/23/18
Tampa boy, 14, shot, police asking for help

Tampa boy, 14, shot, police asking for help

TAMPA — Police want to know who shot 14-year-old De’Nico Thomas after a night of playing video games.Thomas was at a friend’s home Wednesday night and on his way home when Tampa police said he was shot, resulting in life-threatening injuries.As he fa...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Clearwater police search for ‘Bic Bandit’ accused of stealing lighters

Clearwater police search for ‘Bic Bandit’ accused of stealing lighters

CLEARWATER — Police detectives are searching for a man coined the "Bic Bandit" based on reports that he’s stolen dozens of lighters from the same 7-Eleven.According to Clearwater police, the man has swiped the lighters four times in the last month, t...
Published: 06/22/18
FHP: One dead, three seriously injured in head-on Pasco crash

FHP: One dead, three seriously injured in head-on Pasco crash

DADE CITY — A Dade City man was killed and three others were seriously injured after a pickup truck and motorcycle crashed head-on Friday morning, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.Floyd Williamson, 72, of Lakeland, was driving northbound on U....
Published: 06/22/18
Body of missing Hernando park ranger found in Georgia; boyfriend being questioned

Body of missing Hernando park ranger found in Georgia; boyfriend being questioned

Georgia detectives on Friday recovered the body of Mitzi Marie Babb, a 43-year-old Hernando park ranger who had been missing since Tuesday.Her boyfriend, arrested Thursday on unrelated charges, has been called a person of interest in her disappearanc...
Published: 06/22/18