The Calgary rapist who tortured and confined his victim for more than eight hours will not see his conviction overturned, the Alberta Court of Appeal has ruled in a five-page decision released Monday.
In November 2020, Vasilior (Billy) Georgopolous, 41, was handed an 8½ year sentence after being found guilty of sexual assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon, unlawful confinement and uttering death threats.
Georgopoulos' victim's identity is protected by a publication ban.
After he was convicted but before he was sentenced, Georgopolous fired his lawyer and hired a new one.
He also made an unsuccessful mistrial application, arguing he had ineffective counsel. That application was dismissed by the trial judge, Court of Queen's Bench Justice Alan Macleod.
In appealing his conviction, Georgopolous' lawyer Kelsey Sitar argued his counsel at trial should have more thoroughly cross-examined the complainant.
But the panel of appeal court judges sided with prosecutor Iwona Kuklicz in dismissing the application.
"The complaints raised by [Georgopoulos] at trial and repeated here on appeal are merely a disagreement on how different counsel would have cross-examined the complainant," reads the decision.
Georgopoulos is also appealing his sentence. A date for that hearing has not yet been set.
Pair meet online
In October 2017, after meeting online, the two met at an apartment-like hotel suite.
The pair had a couple of drinks together and then initiated what was, at first, a consensual sexual encounter.
Georgopolous quickly became violent and over the next eight hours, he punched the woman in the face, raped her repeatedly and demeaned her over and over again.
At trial, she testified she was sobbing for much of the experience, begging Georgopolous to let her go.
At one point, he burned her with a lighter when she began to pass out from the GHB — also known as the date-rape drug — that he'd given her.
Previously charged with manslaughter
A year earlier, Georgopoulos had been charged with manslaughter and accessory after the fact to murder for the November 2015 stabbing death of Alan Beach outside a pub in Red Deer, Alta.
Ultimately, he pleaded guilty to assault. But on the day of the hotel attack, Georgopoulos told his victim he was a killer and showed her a video that he said depicted the murder.
After about eight hours into what the judge described as a "nightmare" for the victim, she escaped the hotel when Georgopoulos was on the phone.
She took a cab to her mother's home and called police.
In a statement about the impact the crime has had on her, the victim wrote that she is now reclusive and lives in a state of emotional, psychological and mental anguish.