Friday, March 09, 2001

Sarakatsannis guilty of felony

Man who left mom in garage gets probation

By Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEWPORT — Phillip Sarakatsannis entered a guilty plea in Campbell Circuit Court on Thursday to a felony charge for failing to care for his late mother and was placed in a diversion program after his five-year sentence was shifted from jail to probation.

        Mr. Sarakatsannis, 32, was indicted on a charge of abuse of an adult by a caretaker for wantonly neglecting his mother, who spent three weeks last summer lying on the floor in the garage of her cat-infested Fort Thomas home.

        Bonnie Sarakatsannis, 69, eventually was taken by her son to St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Edgewood, where she died Sept. 30. Doctors said she had a broken hip and severe bed sores when admitted Sept. 10.

        Campbell County Commonwealth Attorney Jack Porter said Mr. Sarakatsannis will undergo psychological evaluation and treatment as an outpatient at the NorthKey Community Care facility in Covington. He will be monitored by a probation and parole officer.

        “Mr. Sarakatsannis, his attorney (Harry Hellings) and the commonwealth had previously discussed this plea with the court,” Mr. Porter said.

        “The grand jury felt that sending him to prison would serve no purpose.”

        Fort Thomas authorities were notified of Mrs. Sarakatsannis' condition by the hospital. When police and animal-control officers visited the house on Scenic View Drive, they found it filled with cat feces and urine and removed more than 100 cats that apparently had been there for years.

        The house was condemned by the city and ordered demolished, but Mr. Sarakatsannis successfully appealed that order.

        A Fairfield, Ohio, company is rebuilding the interior of the house, valued at about $180,000.


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