Six years after fleeing the country, a man wanted for the sexual assault and attempted kidnapping of a child was extradited from the Netherlands and returned to Queens to face the charges against him.
Peter Belegrinos, a 30-year-old former psych tech at Elmhurst Hospital and Astoria resident, attempted to kidnap a nine-year-old girl from Astoria Park after sexually assaulting her and threatening two of her friends in August of 2005.
“We have waited more than six years for the defendant to once again face justice and answer the charges that he is a child predator whose alleged offenses are said to have occurred in a public area in broad daylight,” said District Attorney Richard A. Brown. “That long, overdue day has finally arrived.”
According to the 2005 criminal charges, Belegrinos approached three children — a boy, 9, a girl, 9, and another girl, 12, — on August 8, 2005, at Astoria Park. Belegrinos allegedly asked them to play what he called a “kissing game.” The children ran from Belegrinos, who chased after them, grabbing the younger girl. As she fell to the ground, he punched her in the side of the head before lifting up her skirt and sexually abusing her.
Belegrinos was apprehended by police shortly thereafter when passers-by called 9-1-1.
The alleged perpetrator was ordered to be held without bail and is expected to return to court on August 13. He was originally arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on August 9, 2005, for the same charges and posted his $50,000 bail. He failed to appear at his January 23, 2006, court date and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.
Belegrinos was arrested in February 2011 at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on a warrant obtained by the DA stemming from the 2005 Queens case. The DA had been fighting for his extradition since that time.
Belegrinos was arraigned on Friday, July 20, on a seven-count indictment, charging him with one count of second-degree attempted kidnapping, two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, one count of third-degree assault and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
If convicted, Belegrinos faces up to 15 years in prison.
Attempts to contact Salvatore Marinillo, Belegrinos’s attorney, went unanswered.