Thursday, Nov 27, 2014

Epiphany cross diver accused of rape

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Published:   |   Updated: April 19, 2013 at 09:36 AM
TARPON SPRINGS -

One of four Greek Orthodox teens honored last year after a botched cross-diving event to mark Epiphany is accused of raping a 15-year-old girl at a party.

Jared Alexander Alissandratos, 17, a senior at Tarpon Springs High School, was arrested this week and charged with sexual battery. The Palm Harbor teen is accused of assaulting the girl at a party at his fatherís house on Chesapeake Drive early Saturday.

The 15-year-old girl had become drunk and was taken to a room to lie down, according to arrest records filed by Tarpon Springs police.

Two other teenage boys also might have assaulted the girl, law enforcement officials said, and prosecutors are expected to decide if there is enough evidence to charge them, too.

Tarpon Springs police learned of the assault on Monday after the girl spoke with the campus police officer at Tarpon Springs High School, said Capt. Jeff Young.

Alissandratos was among four teen boys declared winners in the 106th annual cross-diving event in Spring Bayou. The 2012 dive was the first time multiple winners were recognized.

Thatís because after 61 boys who dove for the white cross in the annual celebration couldnít find it for more than six minutes, the presiding archbishop tossed in a second cross. Eventually two boys emerged from the bayou with crosses. Then video footage and photos showed Allisandratos 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 or gets a special blessing from God.

sthompson@tampatrib.com. (727) 215-6504.

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