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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The former restaurant owner who will be re-tried on charges of sexual assault is being released from prison following a hearing on Monday morning.
Jurors reached a split verdict in the trial of Adnan Pehlivan last week.
Pehlivan’s attorney, Lee Rothman, has been working ever since to get him released on bond.
While the judge said he had misgivings about granting bail, he said others facing the same charges were out and decided it was the appropriate action to release him.
Pehlivan will be released on electronic monitoring at home, and is to have no contact with the alleged victim.
Last week, he was found not guilty of simple assault and stalking, but the jury was deadlocked on the charges of sexual assault and burglary charges.
Prosecutors said Pehlivan stalked the woman and her friends as they traveled home from Kopy’s Bar on Pittsburgh’s South Side last May before breaking into the alleged victim’s home through her window and sexually assaulting her. But the defense claims the woman invited Pehlivan to her home after meeting him at the bar, but didn’t want her friends to know she had done so.
Rothman says the prosecution never proved that his client is a threat to the community.
“They clearly haven’t met that burden in the first trial, and the circumstances have indeed changed and as a result of that, my client is innocent until proven guilty [and] has a right to be out on bond,” he said.
The assistant District Attorney argued that Pehlivan, a U.S. citizen born in Turkey, was a flight risk because of the seriousness of the sexual assault charges he still faces.
“There are many other people with these same charges and no criminal record who are out on bond without any questions,” Rothman said.
Rothman says his client has spent 288 days in jail and has incurred some major legal expenses, plus his restaurant is now closed and he needs an opportunity to earn a living.
“If you were no longer allowed to work for the last nine and a half months, where would you be as an individual in your ability to maintain your existence? It’s been very pressuresome,” Rothman said.
Pehlivan’s attorney assured the judge he would discuss all the parameters involving his client’s release on electronic monitoring.
His re-trial has been scheduled for July 29.