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Samarin attorneys ask to reduce $240,000 bail as help awaits

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Attorneys for Artur Samarin, the 23-year-old Ukrainian national who was arrested last week after police said he was going to high school using a different identity, are hoping a Dauphin County judge will reduce more than $200,000 off his prison bail.

Adam Klein, who is representing Samarin, told FOX43 he requested the Court of Common Pleas to reduce Samarin's bail to $50,000. Samarin has been in Dauphin County Prison since Feb. 23.

"He's holding up about as well as can be expected," Klein said of Samarin.

Klein says the decision from the judge could take up to a week, given arguments on why bail should remain at $240,000 need to be heard before a decision is made.

Samarin cannot afford to pay the current sum. The adoptive parents who he lived with for more than three years, Michael and Stephayne Potts, are struggling with their own financial issues, according to their attorney, Corky Goldstein of Harrisburg. Artur has been living with a different family since the fall, Klein said.

If Samarin's legal team is able to reduce his bail, one Central Pennsylvania man has offered to help get the former Harrisburg High School student out of jail.

Dean Costopoulos, who operates Costopoulos Bonds in Carlisle with his wife and father, heard about Samarin's story on Feb. 26. His wife went to visit Samarin in jail. According to Dean, she saw a "scared" and "confused kid", and wanted to help.

"I saw the work he did in school, the 4.16 GPA, the ROTC training, and all I could see is a kid from a foreign country who's doing what it took to better himself," Costopoulos said. "In my heart and my mind, I'm thinking, 'Wow, we should bail this kid out for free.'"

Costopoulos added he's never done that before in the thousands of bail bonds he's worked over his career. In his mind, this case was different.

First, he says, were questions about his adoptive parents, Michael and Stephayne Potts. Costopoulos believes they may have been taking advantage of Artur. Second, he questions the legitimacy of the sex crime charge. Police say Samarin admitted to a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl while he was 22.

"This was a puzzle where the pieces just weren't fitting together," Costopoulos said.

He and his wife were ready to post Samarin's bail when it was initially posted at $20,000 on Feb. 23. However, moments before they could last Friday, the sex crime charge was posted. A $240,000 bail is too much ("I have a family too," he says) but hopes Samarin's attorneys can lower the bail to, ideally, under $50,000.

"I'll risk that portion. That's how firmly I believe in this kid," he says.

More than belief, Artur Samarin's story, and current struggle, is personal for Costopoulos. The grandson of an immigrant who he says came to America from Greece and "pushed a hot dog cart around New York City."

"Now, we're lawyers, teachers, even bail bondsmen!" he exclaims. "I want to pay it forward and honor my grandfather and honor these early inmigrants that have made this country the place that it is."