MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A man who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting two 4-year-old children at multiple locations throughout Horry County, including the former Myrtle Beach gentlemen’s club Chez Joey, is requesting a new trial.
According to an application for post-conviction relief filed May 2, Panteleimon “Peter” Spirakis is wanting his guilty plea tossed out and a new trial ordered due to “ineffective assistance of council (sic)” and “judicial error.”
Last August, Spirakis was sentenced to 20 years in prison without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to sexual exploitation of a minor, criminal sexual conduct with a minor, and engaging a child under 18 for sexual performance.
Spirakis was on trial and changed his plea shortly after co-defendant Lindsey Honeycutt pleaded guilty to two counts of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and two counts of unlawful conduct toward a child.
Honeycutt was set to testify against Spirakis.
In his application for post-conviction relief, Spirakis claimed defense attorney Ralph Wilson Sr., failed to call witnesses to provide testimony on his behalf, which led to him pleading guilty. He also alleges the judge was told the jury pool was “tainted,” but did not order the picking of a new jury.
Spirakis is currently being held at the Lee Correctional Institute, according to court documents.
In addition to Spirakis and Honeycutt, Ambrose Heavener and Anthony Strickland were also arrested in March 2016 and charged in connection with this investigation. Their cases have not gone to trial.