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Sunday, May 20, 2018
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Tarpon Springs cross diving teen gets diversion program in rape case

One of the teens involved in the botched cross-driving event during last year's Epiphany celebration in Tarpon Springs has entered into a juvenile diversionary program following accusations he raped a 15-year-old girl at a party in April, said his attorney, Dean Tsourakis. A charge of sexual battery remains pending until Jared Alexander Alissandratos, 17, completes the program, Tsourakis said Monday. Assistant State Attorney Joe Walker declined to discuss the case, saying he is legally precluded from discussing individual juvenile cases. In general, though, he said that if a defendant successfully completes a diversionary program, the case is closed. Sealing the case would involve a separate process, he said. Alissandratos, who was living in Palm Harbor with his mother at the time, was accused of raping the girl at an April 13 party at his father's Chesapeake Drive house in Tarpon Springs, according to an arrest affidavit. There were no adults around.
The girl was attacked after becoming drunk and being taken to a room to lie down, according to Tarpon Springs police. The girl reported what happened a couple of days later to a campus police officer at Tarpon Springs High School. Alissandratos was one of four Greek Orthodox teens honored last year after the annual cross-diving ritual. He and three other boys were declared winners in the 106th-annual cross-diving event in Spring Bayou. The 2012 dive was the first time multiple winners were recognized. After 61 boys dove for the white cross and couldn't find it, the presiding archbishop tossed in a second cross. Eventually, two boys emerged from the bayou with crosses. Then video footage and photos showed Allissandratos and another teen also had their hands on the second cross before the boy who initially was declared the winner. Tradition holds that the victor gets a special blessing from God. [email protected] (727) 215-6504
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