A man who fled the country shortly before he was convicted of sex crimes against a young boy has been returned to New Jersey, authorities said Saturday.
Union County prosecutors said 47-year-old Nikolaos Katogiritis was tracked to the Dominican Republic and was arrested at a hotel there by U.S. Marshals and Dominican law enforcement forces. He was returned to New Jersey on Friday and was charged with bail jumping.
Katogiritis disappeared earlier this month, sometime during the two days that jurors deliberated the charges against him, prosecutors said. The panel found him guilty of sex assault, child endangerment and lewdness.
A sentencing date for the former Elizabeth resident will likely be scheduled within the next few days. He faces up to 10 years in state prison on the sex crimes charges, and could face another five years if convicted of bail jumping.
Prosecutors say Katogiritis approached the then 12-year-old boy in the shower area of pool locker room in August 2012. They say he exposed himself to the boy and started touching himself, then encouraged the boy to do the same and asked to perform a sexual act on him.
The boy left the area and immediately told a relative what happened. Katogiritis was arrested later that day.
"We want to sincerely thank our county and federal law enforcement partners for helping us locate and apprehend this defendant to ensure that he is made to answer for these serious crimes," acting Union County Prosecutor Grace Park said. "This marks another example of the extraordinary results that arise with multi-agency cooperation."