Camp director accused of lewd assault

Author: Joel Zeff
Date Published: 07/08/1989

BROOKSVILLE – Deputies have arrested a Largo priest who runs a Brooksville summer camp and charged him with committing a lewd and lascivious act against a 15-year-old girl, according to a Hemando Sheriff’s Office report.

The Rev. John M. Liadis, 56, of 12763 112th St. N in Largo, was arrested Friday. He was released on $5,000 bond.

The incident occurred about 11:30 p.m June 8 at the Greek Orthodox Youth Center – Olympic Village, 13460 Olympic Village Lane in Brooksville, according to the report. At the time of the incident, Liadis was the director of the center.

According to the report, Liadis and the 15-year-old girl, who was a volunteer at the summer camp, were in his office when he sexually assaulted her.

“The girl then called her parents after the incident,” said Captain G. Z. Smith. “Her parents then reported the incident to us.”

Deputies went to the camp June 8, but Liadis was not arrested. The girl, who is from Orange County, rejoined her parents.

The summer camp, which usually has about 200 children, was between sessions when the incident occurred.

Smith said the investigation would continue, but he is not aware of any other victims at this time. He said Liadis has no prior history of sexual assault.

The Rev. Tryfon Theophilopoulos, pastor of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Tarpon Springs, said Liadis was one of the founders of the summer camp. The camp is owned by the Olympic Village Foundation, a privately owned foundation. He said Liadis had been the director for about 10 years.

Theophilopoulos said the camp had been endorsed by the diocese in Atlanta.

“He brings the kids from the camp down to our church on Sundays,” Theophilopoulos said. “I am extremely flabbergasted. This is terrible.”

He said Liadis was a respected priest among the Greek Orthodox community. He said Liadis was a minister at St. Stefanos Greek Orthodox Church in St. Petersburg for several years.

“He’s not a bad man,” he said. “He loves the children. His whole life is working with the children.”

Theophilopoulos said Liadis was released from his duties as director within the last month.

The current director of the center could not be reached for comment.