Alexis W. Polychronis, age 26, was arrested today for three counts of lewd and lascivious molestation in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The unnamed female victim was15 years old at the time of the alleged molestation.
The parents of the teenage girl claim that they both warned Polychronis to keep away from their daughter on multiple occasions. According to news reports, the girl is home-schooled and is only allowed out of the house to go to the family’s place of worship.
By the sound of it, this teenager seems like she was kept on a tight leash by her parents. For that reason, her behavior in this case is not surprising. While Polychronis is certainly responsible for his actions as an adult male, we cannot forget that the alleged victim was a willing participant.
It is unknown whether or not Polychronis has retained a criminal defense lawyer.
Despite his ambition to one day marry this girl, Polychronis is undoubtedly in serious trouble. While he may have had true romantic ambitions, as opposed to a mere sexual objectification of the victim, the bottom line is that the woman he is in love with is just a 15 year old girl.
In other countries, such as Mexico, it is not uncommon for 26 year old men to date or even marry 15 year old females. However, in America, touching a 15 year old is a second degree felony that can land you in prison for up to 15 years per encounter.
That is why Polychronis must immediately hire the best criminal defense attorney he can find.
It is also important to note that the victim’s consent is NOT a defense. That means Polychronis can go to prison for up to 15 years per incident, even though the girl may have been a willing participant, an initiator of the sexual contact, or hounded after him aggressively until he finally caved in.
Ultimately, the seriousness of this case will depend on how intimate the touching was, among other factors. Did he penetrate her vaginally or anally or was the touching limited to “feeling her up” over her clothing? How many encounters like this occurred? Did he penetrate her only with his fingers or did they also have sex?
As is very common in cases like these, the teenage girl thinks she is in love with the defendant and the parents become furious once they learn of her escapades with an older man. I would bet that this case came to light after the victim’s parents read racy text messages on her phone or found love letters, from Polychronis after rummaging through her bedroom.
According to news reports, the girl’s parents claim they became suspicious after they saw Polychronis standing “very close” to their daughter and saw them touching in an intimate manner, although the details of what they mean are not yet known publicly.
Regardless of what the girl’s parents think of Polychronis, when juries are presented with cases like these, they tend to have mixed feelings. On the one hand, they will think that Polychronis should have known better than to get involved with such a young girl. He made a fatal error and he took advantage of a teenage girl who lacks the maturity to date an adult man. Responsibility no doubt lies with him. Some jurors will even think Polychronis took advantage of the girl, even if he takes the stand and professes his love to her. In fact, if he did that he might look like he is crazy.
However, at the same time, jurors may not agree with prosecuting a man for second degree felony when the incident in question is limited to touching and the victim was a willing participant.
If Alexis Polychronis was a middle aged man or the alleged victim was younger, the offensive nature of Polychronis’ actions would be considered a lot worse by a jury. Realistically, the jury is going to give considerable weight to the victim’s maturity and her physical appearance (developmentally speaking) when making their decision.
Frankly, if she looks like a young, girlish, immature 15 year old, a typical jury will vote against Polychronis. However, if this victim looks like she “15 going on 30” and is very physically adult looking, then a typical jury is less likely to convict Polychronis.
Aside from a potential jury nullification, these cases are relatively easy to prove for prosecutor, unless there is evidence of coercion and the victim recants her testimony. Fortunately for Polychronis, he did not allow the police to interrogate him and get him to give a false or illegally obtained conviction.
Polychronis’ criminal defense lawyer must evaluate every shred of evidence in this case with tremendous attention to detail. How this case came to light will be an important back drop to the allegations. The willingness of the victim to testify or change in story by her will also play an important role.
Ultimately, if the victim is going to testify that Polychronis touched her genitals, Polychronis may not be in a position to take his case to trial. Regardless, his criminal defense attorney cannot assume that the case is lost merely because it is difficult.
Hopefully this whole matter will be resolved in a manner that is good for the alleged victim and not overly punitive (beyond what is appropriate) for Polychronis.