A veteran sheriff’s deputy in Illinois was charged with sexually assaulting two children, including his girlfriend’s 14-year-old daughter, authorities said.
Luke Hatzipetros, 43, inappropriately touched the girl with his hand three separate times on Dec. 13 while inside her bedroom as her two younger siblings slept nearby, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Brandon Stark told the Chicago Sun-Times.
The 18-year vet allegedly returned to the teen’s bedroom a day later and touched her inappropriately for the fourth time. Stark said the teen victim then told a friend and a relative about the incident, prompting the family member to notify police.
That relative also told investigators that Hatzipetros had touched her inappropriately while swimming at a pool in Lake County. A second victim in that incident later accused the deputy of touching her at the pool when she was 12 years old, Stark said.
The date of those alleged attacks was not immediately clear.
Hatzipetros, who worked in the agency’s court services department, was “de-deputized” following his arrest on felony charges, a spokeswoman for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to The Post in an email.
“Our department is cooperating fully with the investigation,” spokeswoman Sophia Ansari said.
Hatzipetros surrendered to police in Chicago on Saturday in connection with charges of criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse, the Chicago Tribune reported.
He appeared on Sunday in bond court, where a judge ordered him held without bail, according to the newspaper.
Cara Smith, chief spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department, said an investigation into the allegations was launched at least a week prior to Hatzipetros’ arrest. A total of three orders of protection were also served against the deputy, although it’s unclear whether the individuals he was ordered to stay away from were considered to be sexual assault victims, the Tribune reports.
“We had been working with Chicago Police Department for several days prior to that and, in addition, ensuring the orders of protection were served on him,” Smith told the newspaper.
Smith said Hatzipetros was stripped of his law enforcement powers as a deputy, but remained on the agency’s payroll as of Sunday.
“I would anticipate that he will ultimately be suspended without pay,” Smith told the Tribune.
In 2014, a federal judge denied Hatzipetros’ claim that he was unfairly passed over for a promotion from the court service department to patrol officer, alleging that the majority of such advancements were reserved for its correctional division instead of court services, the Sun-Times reports.
Hatzipetros was scheduled to return to court Monday for a bond review hearing.
Source: Read Full Article