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June 17, 2019

4/27/2019 7:30:00 AM
Former janitor in school assault case seeks new lawyer
By River News Staff

On Tuesday, the public defenders representing the Tomahawk man accused of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old Northwoods Community Elementary School (NCES) student in November was granted a motion to withdraw as his attorney.

Stavros Iliopoulos, 65, was charged Nov. 21 with first-degree sexual assault of a child, false imprisonment and child enticement after a Northwoods Community Elementary School (NCES) student claimed he intercepted her as she attempted to enter a restroom and touched her inappropriately.

According to court records, Elizabeth Svehlek and Mary Burns filed a motion to withdraw as Iliopoulos' attorneys on April 17, and on Tuesday Svehlek told Judge Michael Bloom that Iliopoulos had asked for new representation. Bloom granted the request, and the process will begin to find a new attorney who will take a public defender appointment on the case.

The case is scheduled for a May 5 status conference, with a final pre-trial on Aug. 20. A two-day jury trial is still scheduled for Sept. 4 and 5. If the state public defender's office has trouble finding a new attorney for the case, the trial would have to be postponed.

The NCES student claimed Iliopoulos intercepted her as she attempted to enter a restroom Nov. 20 and touched her inappropriately. Iliopoulos was working as a school custodian at the time of the alleged assault but was later fired by Victory Janitorial which has a contract with the School District of Rhinelander to clean school buildings. 

According to the complaint, the girl told investigators she left her classroom to use the restroom when Iliopoulos approached her and asked for a hug. She declined and attempted to go back to her classroom, but Iliopoulos took her to a closet instead, she reported.

In the closet, the girl said Iliopoulos  hugged and kissed her and then began to touch her over and under her clothing. She said she tried to reach the door handle but Iliopoulos grabbed her arm and pushed it up against the wall. He eventually let her out of the closet with a warning not to tell anyone what happened, she reported.

Iliopoulos is being held in the Oneida County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.

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