The owner of Hillers Pizza was charged late last month with one count of indecent assault of a minor and two counts of witness intimidation following an alleged incident with a teenage female employee in the basement of the restaurant.
Through his attorney, Petros “Peter” Sismanis entered a plea of not guilty to all charges. A pretrial hearing was set for March 22 at 9 a.m. in Framingham District Court.
Contacted by the Independent, Sismanis referred all questions to his attorney, Joseph Eisenstadt, who declined to comment.
At the Jan. 31 hearing, Assistant District Attorney Daniel Bolcun detailed the charges against the 55-year-old Sismanis stemming from the Jan. 12 incident.
“The defendant offered to take the victim downstairs to show her the inventory,” Bolcun stated. “She stated that the defendant sat in a chair, and that while he was sitting, he put his arms around her waist and placed his hand on the center of her back. She stated that he then stood up and began to hug her and kiss her on the mouth while holding his hand on the center of her back. She tried to pull away and the defendant continued kissing her.
“After that finished, he pleaded with her not to say anything because she was too young. Both parties proceeded upstairs and the victim first called her mother to tell her what happened. The mother was at the scene around 9 [p.m.] and spoke to both the victim and defendant. The defendant then attempted to keep both the victim and her mother from leaving the business. The defendant also made statements that he would rather be killed than to call the police.
“The victim’s mother then attempted to get in her vehicle, and the defendant blocked the door to keep it from closing. The victim’s mother stated that this went on for about 15 minutes before she was finally able to close the door and leave the area.”
Prior to the hearing, the judge heard arguments regarding an anti-harassment order that had been filed against Sismanis by the accuser’s mother, who appeared in court. After confirming a few facts, the judge ordered Sismanis to stay 100 yards away from the victim’s school and residence. The order remains in effect until January 2024.
Citing a similar offense from 1997, Bolcun stated that the commonwealth has “serious concerns for the community” and asked the judge to set bail at $2,500 and to order no unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 18. Sismanis’s attorney objected to this request, asking Judge Jennifer Stark if it could be modified to “no unsupervised contact with females under 18.” “My client owns a pizza shop and has 17-year-old males working there,” Eisenstadt said.
“I don’t know anything about your client and his proclivities, so I’m not inclined to make that change,” the judge responded. Addressing Sismanis, she said, “You’re going to have to figure it out.”
The judge released Sismanis with the condition that he does not contact the alleged victim or go near the girl, her residence or her school, and he has no unsupervised contact with individuals under the age of 18. She issued a stern warning to Sismanis that if he violated any of these terms he could — and most likely would, given the nature of the charges — be held in jail without the possibility of bail.
Sismanis opened Hillers Pizza in 2017 in the strip mall at 77 West Main Street after previously working at Dino’s Pizza, which inhabited the same location. Sismanis is well known for donating to local charitable organizations and for his support of Hopkinton High School athletics, especially the football team.
This is not the first legal issue Sismanis has faced. In September 1997, he was charged with two counts of rape and three counts of indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or over stemming from an incident in Hopkinton. He pled not guilty to all charges and was released on $6,000 bail. As a condition of his release, Sismanis was ordered to surrender his passport (at the time he was not a U.S. citizen), have no contact with the victim and not travel outside of Massachusetts.
On Sept. 14, 1998, Sismanis changed his plea to guilty on two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or over. He was ordered to pay $100 and was placed on probation for four years, the first six months with electronic ankle bracelet. He was allowed to go only to work, church and medical appointments. Sismanis was ordered to pay up to $1,000 for the victim’s counseling, and he was to be evaluated for a sexual offenders program.
On Sept. 23, 2002, Sismanis’s probation was ordered terminated, and in May 2005 Judge Peter Lauriat ordered the records destroyed.
In 2019, Sismanis petitioned the court to vacate his plea and guilty finding, requesting post-conviction relief. In his affidavit, Sismanis claimed that the Superior Court failed to advise him of immigration warnings as the law requires. The plea was denied by Judge Kenneth Fishman, who stated that the court had met its burden of proof that the defendant had been advised of his rights.
Editor’s note: Material from multiple sources was used to put together this report, which was compiled by managing editor Jerry Spar.
My daughter had a very similar experience working there. She was over 18, but it’s still indecent assault and battery; should include Violation of Civil Rights.
Im a 25 year old female, I’ve worked on this establishment since I was turning 20, I’ve never once felt uncomfortable here or felt I was in danger. This family has treated me like their own. I’ve never met a nicer and kinder soul than Mr. Sismanis. They have gone above and beyond in helping this community and it is sickening to see people talk this way about any of them. They are my family. Petros treats me like a daughter. These accusations are down right ridiculous.
You read the part where he plead guilty to rape in the 90s, right?
I do not believe that it is appropriate for you to express your concerns on a post of this matter. These clearly aren’t just accusations as these are repeating actions, and legal matters. It is very hard for people to come out and make allegations of this sort because they are afraid of people like you. This may be hard for you to hear about Peter, but go express your concern elsewhere as you do not understand what others may be going through and how much courage it took to admit these things. I am so deeply sorry for all the victims known and unknown that have been affected by this man and family and I hope that moving forward as the town of Hopkinton we can prevent anything close to this from happening again.
1997 charged it’s 2 counts of raw and 3 counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14 which he changed his plea to
Guilty . Seems like person with a lengthy history prying on his next victim and not able to be rehabbed . Maybe your not his type , as your older then the ones he desires . Supporting the community with the hopes to stalk new inventory and slide under the radar , these people are masters of manipulation. You work there ask for the videos and make an educated decision . Best of luck
1997: Charged with 2 Counts of RAPE
3 counts of Indecent assault & Battery of 14 and over = Released on 6K after not guilty plea
1998: Changed to guilty plea to 2 charges of indecent A&B of 14 and over = Ordered to pay $100. + 4yr probation
2002: Probation terminated
2005: Records DESTROYED
2023: Charged with 1 Count of indecent assault of minor
2 Counts of witness intimidation = Hearing 03/22/23
We need to take action and not let the court system decide if he can go on like this. We should BOYCOTT his business, so he doesn’t have funds to be paying the best lawyers who can get him out of prison.
It’s really sad you would accuse a 16 year old girl, that you knew personally, and had a similar experience when her age, of lying to keep your job. You know what you’re doing is wrong. The law doesn’t lie. He belongs in prison. This might fly in Greece, but not here.
You’re clearly too old for him.
I am going to okay devils advocate. Your probably unattractive thats why he didn’t desire you. I stand with the victims and he should still be in prison for RAPE
Logan, I am glad u didnt have an issue. But accusations are not ridiculous. Maybe it is because you were older. He attacked me back in 1996. I wont get into details, but very similiar to this girl..I also worked at the shop in Upton and went to the donut shop to pick up my check because the owners changed hands. That’s when it happened. Predators are manipulators.
Hey Logan, I bet Kevin Spacey also had hundreds of people in his life that he treated like family and never sexually assaulted either….doesn’t mean he didn’t do it to other people. 🤷🏻♂️
You read that he tried to quiet everyone, right? Sounds like a real stand-up guy.
@Logan: Did you read the article? The accusations are not “ridiculous”. He has a history of similar behavior. And one person’s experience does not negate another’s. I’m glad this did not happen to you, but it did happen to this other girl, and to others.
Logan….just because you had a good experience working there, please do not diminish what happened to others. Look at his criminal record. This isn’t a 1x accusation. He plead guilty. I’m glad you were safe, but this is scary and he should absolutely not be around young women and maybe not even own a business.
I don’t think Logan is real and hes probably one of Sismanis’s boys. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims. The courts are so messed up.
Wild that no one’s allowed to say anything unless it’s bad. Plus KH, it is not your place to bring up anyone’s past. It’s simply just hard to believe. Plus, if there were hard evidence, he wouldn’t be walking free right now. End of story. I should be able to have an opinion whether it differs.
Sexual predators are like mice, if you see one there is a problem.
The majority of offenders stop only when they are in jail.
I will never set foot in Hiller’s Pizza again.
To Logan, consider yourself lucky he was not attracted to you. In the future don’t bash the victim by shedding doubt on her assault. You were not there, your comment is not appropriate.
Evidence? He pled guilty and still wasn’t imprisoned. Do records lie? The system is messed up. It’s not fair to bring up anyone’s past, but it’s fair to accuse a teenage girl of lying of a GROWN MAN assaulting her? Check yourself.
How does this predator get his record expunged after pleading guilty? The families of these young employees deserve to know of his past. These families try and do a good thing to support a local business and make money for college. They deserve better. This is definitely not acceptable.
No one called you unattractive or horrible. People said Peter Sismanis “wasn’t attracted to you”. Don’t take it personally. You should be more sensitive towards a YOUNG GIRL YOU KNEW. Grow up. Find a new job. What is wrong with you.
My comment is just as appropriate as everyone elses calling me unattractive and saying horrible stuff about me. I shared my experience here. Never said what is said never happened. Just that it was hard to believe. I never once said this didnt happen to her. Just that it’s wild. Plus, I’ve been assaulted and raped. Pretty sure I know what I’m talking about
So you have experience with SA and yet you still made that comment? You called the accusations “down right ridiculous.” It’s very clear what you meant by this. You obviously don’t believe it happened to her just because it didn’t happen to you, too. Don’t try and backpedal.
BOYCOTT THIS BUSINESS!! His employees can find a job elsewhere. Everyone’s hiring. We should get his business out of town!
Terrible!!! He should be put in jail and business closed down!
post the article in yelp, google …etc.
make people aware.