OCEAN CITY – A cartoon impersonator admitted in Ocean City District Court yesterday he fondled a 16-year-old girl on the Boardwalk this summer and is reportedly heading back home to his native country.
In August, Ocean City police arrested Boardwalk street performer Andrii Mokrishchev, 21, of Ukraine, on fourth-degree sex offense and second-degree assault charges after allegedly grabbing a girl’s buttocks when she posed for pictures with him. He routinely appeared on the Boardwalk dressed in full costume as Patrick Star, a character on the popular cartoon “Sponge Bob Square Pants”.
Mokrishchev and a friend, who appeared as the show’s title character, apparently sought donations from people in exchange for a keepsake photo opportunity on the Boardwalk. After the incident, Mokrishchev was taken into custody and held in jail. However, once word of this initial incident spread in the media, three other alleged victims alerted police of similar run-ins with Mokrishchev, resulting in more second-degree assault and fourth-degree sex offense charges.
In court this week, Mokrishchev struck a plea deal with the State’s Attorney Office. He pleaded guilty to one count of fourth-degree sex offense in the initial incident with the 16-year-old girl and the other charges, including those stemming from the other victims, were not prosecuted. He was sentenced to time served, which came to 28 days, and paid a small fine. Under terms of the deal, he has reportedly been handed over to immigration officials and is expected to return to his native country after the formal paperwork is executed.