A former Southeast Baltimore bar owner was convicted by a jury of child sex abuse, in a case in which the allegations dated back more than 35 years.
Nicolaos Trintis, 65, was found guilty Friday of more than a dozen counts of third-degree sex offense and four counts of sexual child abuse. He was acquitted on more serious charges of rape but still faces a maximum sentence of up to 250 years, prosecutors said.
The victim was 10 years old in 1979 and living in an apartment above Bill's Cafe near Dundalk, where her mother worked for Trintis. She said he repeatedly abused her over a three-year period.
She contacted police in 2012, after a child abuse scare involving one of her grandchildren triggered recollections of the abuse. Trintis was charged in December 2013.
"Children often report abuse well after it begins. They either wait until they feel safe, or the realization that what was done to them was so overwhelmingly wrong that they decide to do something about it," Assistant State's Attorney Noelle Newman said in a statement provided by prosecutors.
She praised the victim, who now lives in New Hampshire and made "at least 10" trips to Baltimore to participate in the case.
Trintis denied the allegations and took the stand in his own defense. His attorney, Dwight Pettit, said prosecutors had no evidence other than the word of the victim and her relatives.
"Because of the 36-year time lapse, we weren't able to get anything through discovery to mount or create an objective forensic defense," Pettit said.
Bill's Cafe, a corner bar at Dundalk and Holabird avenues just inside the city line, opened in 1954 and was run by Trintis from the 1970s until an unrelated raid by police in 2013.
The Trintis family is active in the area's Greek community, and Trintis held leadership positions with his church and the local chapter of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association.
He remains free on bail pending sentencing on June 24.
I don't understand that. He's convicted! You know he is going to get jail time, and most likely significant jail time. So why the bail? It makes no sense to me.