Alleged Sexual Predator, Fugitive Belegrinos To Face Sexual Assault Charges
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced that a former city hospital worker, who fled abroad more than six years ago, has been extradited from the Netherlands to face charges that he sexually assaulted and attempted to kidnap a nine-year-old girl from Astoria Park in August 2005, as well as endangered two of her companions.
Brown said, “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. That long, overdue day has finally arrived.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Peter Belegrinos, 30, whose last known New York address was 20-64 24th St. in Astoria. Belegrinos, a former psych tech at Elmhurst Hospital, was arraigned on July 20 before Queens Supreme Court Justice Gregory L. Lasak 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. Belegrinos, who faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted, was ordered held without bail and to return to court on August 13.
Belegrinos was originally arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Aug. 9, 2005, on the sexual assault charges and bail was set at $50,000, which he posted. On Jan. 23, 2006, he failed to appear in court and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. Belegrinos was arrested in February 2011 at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on an arrest warrant obtained by the district attorney’s office stemming from the Queens case and had been fighting extradition since that time.
Brown said that, according to the criminal charges brought in 2005, Belegrinos approached three children–a boy and girl, both nine years of age, and a 12-year-old girl–on Aug. 8, 2005, at Astoria Park, located at Ditmars Boulevard and Shore Boulevard, and asked them to play a game that he described as a “kissing game”. Though the children allegedly ran from Belegrinos, he chased after them. It is alleged that the younger girl yelled for help but that Belegrinos was able to grab the girl’s leg, causing her to fall, and punched her on the side of the head before lifting up her skirt and sexually abusing her.
Belegrinos was apprehended shortly thereafter as adult passersby, alerted that the children were in trouble, called 911.