Suspect Captured In Amsterdam
Peter Belegrinos, who viciously punched a nine-year-old girl in the face and sexually molested her on Shore Boulevard near Astoria Park, was apprehended in the Netherlands more than five years after his initial arrest.
“After five years on the loose, our community can finally rest assured that this predator is behind bars. This monster should never have been given the opportunity to flee and endanger children every second he evaded capture,” Councilmember Peter F. Vallone Jr. said.
Vallone immediately protested the granting of low bail for Belegrinos and warned that he would flee rather than face prosecution. When Belegrinos did in fact fail to appear in court, Vallone immediately held a press conference alerting parents that this dangerous predator was on the loose.
He has stayed in contact with authorities regarding their search.
Because of lenient laws at the time, Belegrinos faces a maximum of seven years in prison on the sexual assault. To ensure future sex offenders would face increased jail time, Vallone sponsored a resolution which was unanimously passed in the City Council calling on New York state to impose a mandatory minimum of a 25-year sentence for anyone convicted of sexually assaulting a minor, which led to the strengthening of the state’s child predator laws.
Vallone commended District Attorney Richard Brown for his persistence in helping to ensure the capture of Belegrinos.