For Immediate Release 4/24/15
Nicolaos Trinitis, the former owner of South East Baltimore’s Bill’s Café, was convicted Friday of more than a dozen counts of third-degree sex offense four separate counts of sexual child abuse.
Trinitis was found guilty of abusing the 10 year old daughter of his then tenant and bartender. Assistant State’s Attorney and Director of Community Engagement, Noelle Newman prosecuted the case.
The survivor of Trinitis’ attacks lived in an apartment above his bar. She lived there with her mother and two siblings—the family moved into the apartment the same day her mother started tending bar at Bill’s Café. From 1979 to 1982 the survivor was repeatedly raped and assaulted while her mother worked the night shift downstairs at the bar. Trinitis, who was married during the time of the attacks, was having an affair with the survivor’s mother.
According to Newman, Trinitis would go upstairs to the apartment to “check on the kids” while the survivor’s mother was working. He would come into the survivor’s room and force the young girl to have sex with him and perform oral sex on him.
“Her mother admitted in court that she did not believe her daughter at the time it was brought to her attention.” Newman said. “Children often report abuse well after it begins. They either wait until they feel safe, or the realization that what was done to them was so overwhelmingly wrong that they decide to do something about it.”
Newman said that the survivor, who is a 46 year old grandmother, felt compelled to come forward after a child abuse scare with one of her grandchildren. The event triggered strong negative emotions from her past, and after seeking counseling, decided to press charges more than 400 miles away from her home in New Hampshire.
“She made the trip to Baltimore at least 10 times.” Newman said.
It takes roughly 16 hours round trip to drive from New Hampshire to Baltimore and back.
The State’s Attorney’s Office originally declined to charge the case in 2012, but after the survivor’s insistence on bringing her attacker to trial—prosecutors brought charges against Trinitis at the end of 2013.
“At community day in court two weeks ago Debbie Holbrook, who oversees the forensic exam program for rape victims at Mercy Hospital, talked about the need for people to start believing survivors of sexual abuse. When the survivor was 14, she told her mother, but nothing was done to hold the defendant accountable.” Newman said.
Newman was referring to State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s new community engagement program called Community Day in Court. The inaugural event brought community members to the Mitchell Courthouse to learn more about sexual assault cases—in light of sexual assault awareness month.
“I want to thank this survivor for her courage and determination,” Mosby said. “I don’t care what the circumstances are, if evidence exists that you raped or molested a citizen of Baltimore—we will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.”
Trinitis faces up to 250 years in prison. He is scheduled for sentencing on June 24th before Judge Paul Smith.
Mosby has advocated for legislation in the past two state legislative sessions for reforms to Maryland’s sexual assault laws. She says that her administration is serious about empowering survivors of sexual assault and winning justice on their behalf.