Probation in sex assault

CRIME WATCH

July 02, 2008|By NICOLE FULLER

A 19-year-old Brooklyn Park man was sentenced to time served and probation yesterday for attempting to sexually assault a 13-year-old girl in the basement of his grandmother's home.

Paul Justin Krastas, of the 5300 block of 4th St., pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree sexual offense in a deal with prosecutors. He was originally charged with second-degree rape in the assault last year on the girl, now 14. The Sun does not name victims of sexual abuse.

Anne Arundel Circuit Judge William C. Mulford II sentenced Krastas, who was 18 at the time of the crime, to a year in jail with all but 59 days suspended and five years of supervised probation, during which time he can have no contact with the victim or her immediate family. Krastas had served 59 days at the county detention center since his arrest.

FOR THE RECORD - An article in Wednesday's editions about a Brooklyn Park man's being placed on probation over a fourth-degree sexual offense misspelled the man's name and incorrectly stated the original charge filed against him. Paul Justin Kratsas was originally charged with attempted second-degree rape. He entered an Alford plea, in which a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges the existence of evidence sufficient for a conviction, his defense lawyer said. The article also incorrectly stated the location of the incident, which, the lawyer said, took place at the man's sister's house.
THE SUN REGRETS THE ERROR

In a statement read by the prosecutor, the girl told the judge that she has had nightmares since the attack, can't play outside by herself and that kids in school tease her.

"It took a lot of courage" to fight off Krastas' advances and to come to court, Mulford told the girl, who was in court yesterday with her mother and grandmother.

Defense attorney Gordon M. Tayback said his client has struggled with alcohol abuse since his mother died.

Prosecutor Kimberly DiPietro said that about 6:30 p.m. Nov. 4, the girl was at Krastas' house with several adults.

He approached the girl and said he wanted to speak with her privately. The girl smelled alcohol on his breath and declined.

Krastas then "picked her up and carried her," DiPietro said.

The girl yelled, according to DiPietro, "No, put me down! Get off of me!"

Krastas carried her downstairs to the basement, "laid her down on his bed and pulled her pants down," DiPietro said.

The girl screamed and kicked, the prosecutor said, alerting others in the house. Krastas' grandmother called 911.

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