xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Baltimore attorney pleads guilty to obstruction of justice for offering money to alleged rape victim not to testify

A Baltimore defense attorney has pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for offering an alleged rape victim cash not to testify, the Maryland Attorney General’s Office announced.

The case against Christos Vasiliades, 41, took nearly three years to be resolved, with several counts of witness intimidation being thrown out by a judge and a jury deadlocking on the remaining counts at a trial last year.

Advertisement

Vasiliades and a man acting as an interpreter were recorded telling the alleged victim that she risked deportation due to intensifying efforts to crack down on illegal immigration by the Trump administration.

“Vasiliades attempted to intimidate the victim with threats of deportation, and he tried to pay her off in order to clear his client of a serious crime,” Attorney General Brian Frosh said in a statement announcing the plea. “Actions like these are a threat to public safety and to the rule of law. I appreciate the courage it took for the victim to expose Vasiliades. That courage enabled us to hold him accountable.”

Advertisement

Vasiliades’ attorney, Jeremy Eldridge, said the immigration comments made by his client added political fuel to the case, but that Vasiliades was cautioning the alleged victim of an actual concern — he had learned that ICE agents were going to be at the courthouse.

“There was no evidence that our client was being anything other than honest about the immigration component, especially since it was the prosecutor on the [rape] case that told Christos of ICE’s involvement in the first place,” Eldridge said.

Eldridge said Vasiliades was “vindicated of a lion’s share of the charges in this case” and “maintains his innocence with regard to any acts of witness intimidation against the alleged victims in this case."

Vasiliades faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for April 3.

Vasiliades’ own client at the time of the cash offer was later acquitted of rape by a city jury, records show.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement