CHICAGO – Luke Hatzipetros, a Cook County sheriff’s deputy is accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl, the Chicago Tribune reported, adding that he appeared in court on December 30 to fight being held on felony charges without bail.
The alleged assault took place in December over two days, and Hatzipetros, 43, was charged over the weekend “with criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse and ordered held without bail” the Tribune reported, adding that Judge John F. Lyke, Jr. set a hearing for January 17 on the bail issue.
With 18 years working in the sheriff’s office, Hatzipetros was “de-deputized” on December 28, according to Cara Smith, policy chief for Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, the Tribune reported, adding that at Monday’s court appearance, Jonathan Bedi, Hatzipetros’ lawyer, “said the allegations are not true,” “called the denial of bail ‘atrocious,’” and “said the officer isn’t a flight risk and has roots in the community.”
Though “stripped of police powers,” Hatzipetros was not fired and “remains on the payroll until the case runs its course, under the collective bargaining agreement,” Smith told the Tribune.
According to Smith, “the investigation began at least a week earlier” and three orders of protection had been served against Hatzipetros before he was arrested, though Smith was unsure if those named were victims or their relatives, the Tribune reported.