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Sex Assault Charges Dropped Against Former Pittsburgh Restaurant Owner

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Charges have been dropped against a former restaurant owner accused of following a young woman home from a bar and assaulting her at her apartment.

In 2019, Adnan Pehlivan was found not guilty of simple assault and stalking, but the jury deadlocked on the charges of sexual assault and burglary. A jury was deadlocked in the retrial after four full days of deliberations this October, and the judge declared another mistrial.

"The Commonwealth is electing to withdraw the charges at this time for the sole purpose of what is in the best interest of the sexual assault victim(s) in this matter. The victim(s) consent to the withdraw of charges," the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office told the court.

Prosecutors said Pehlivan stalked the woman and her friends as they traveled home from Kopy's Bar on Pittsburgh's South Side in 2018 before breaking into the alleged victim's home through her window and sexually assaulting her. However, 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.

After the decision to drop the charges, the DA's office issued a statement saying the welfare of sexual assault victims is "paramount," but District Attorney Stephen Zappala "believes there are serious legislative issues that need to be addressed including the language of the stalking statute, which puts the focus on the victim more than the perpetrator."

"Additionally, the rape shield law, which is often abused by defendants, needs to be strengthened legislatively and enforced more vigorously by the judiciary," the statement read.

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