DA: Video shows Pittsburgh restaurateur stalking woman before sex assault
The owner of a popular Pittsburgh restaurant who was charged with sexual assault last week appeared in court Thursday to ask a judge for permission to travel to Australia with his teenage daughter next week.
Instead, Adnan Pehlivan got a trip to the Allegheny County Jail.
Allegheny County Common Pleas President Judge Jeffrey A. Manning revoked Pehlivan’s bond and remanded him to jail after prosecutors presented surveillance footage that they say shows him deliberately stalking his victim and her friends on Pittsburgh’s South Side the night of the alleged attack.
Pehlivan, 46, owns Istanbul Sofra in the city’s Regent Square neighborhood. He was charged May 15 with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse of an unconscious person, burglary, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault and simple assault.
The Swissvale man is accused of breaking into the South Side Slopes home of three women he met at an East Carson Street bar earlier in the night, according to the criminal complaint.
The victim said she did not know Pehlivan before he bought her and her two friends drinks and made small talk. They went their separate ways after the encounter.
The victim said she awoke later that night to find the man from the bar sexually assaulting her in her bed, police said. She fought him off, and he ran away.
Pehlivan and his attorney, James Sheets, appeared in court for a hearing to determine whether Pehlivan should be permitted to go on a previously scheduled trip to Australia with his daughter to see the band One Direction.
Deputy District Attorney Jen DiGiovanni made a motion to revoke Pehlivan’s bail based on evidence not presented in the criminal complaint. The alleged victim ripped a portion of Pehlivan’s shirt during the attack, which police found in the victim’s home. Officers found the rest of the torn shirt in Pehlivan’s home.
DiGiovanni said investigators noted distinct buttons on the shirt that indicated the shirt came from a store in Turkey, where Pehlivan is from. Police allegedly found a second shirt with the same buttons, and a photo of Pehlivan in the store in Turkey where the shirts are from.
She said the victim submitted to a rape kit the night of the attack. The DNA results are pending.
DiGiovanni also played a 15-minute video showing scenes from a number of surveillance cameras along East Carson Street.
The identities of the victims have been blurred out by the District Attorney’s office. The video has been sped up by the Tribune-Review for time purposes. To view the DA’s original video, click here .
The footage from the night of the alleged attack shows the victim and her two friends walking east on East Carson. It shows a man DiGiovanni identified as Pehlivan drive past in a silver BMW, park ahead of the women and shut off his car. When the women walk past, Pehlivan starts his car, drives ahead of them and stops again.
The footage shows Pehlivan do this multiple times, including while the women duck into a pizza shop to order pizza. DiGiovanni said he followed them to their vehicle and then onto their Josephine Street home.
“That video clearly shows predatory behavior,” DiGiovanni said.
DiGiovanni also brought up a 2012 incident in which police on the South Side found Pehlivan crouched over an unconscious woman in a doorway with his pants down. Pehlivan first told police he was checking on the woman, though she said she did not know Pehlivan when she regained consciousness, DiGiovanni said.
Pehlivan then told officers he’d been urinating. He was released and no charges were filed.
In the meantime, here’s Pehlivan’s attorney, James Sheets, after the hearing pic.twitter.com/viCN53wynK
— Megan Guza (@meganguzaTrib) May 24, 2018
DiGiovanni said Pehlivan’s history of extensive travels makes him a flight risk, particularly if he returns to his native Turkey, which does not extradite suspects to the United States. She said that his financial means — he posted his $20,000 straight cash bail within hours of his arrest – make him an even greater flight risk.
Sheets argued that if Pehlivan had wanted to flee the country, he could have done so already. He said he was unaware that DiGiovanni intended to introduce evidence at the hearing, nor did he know she intended to ask for a revocation of bail.
“I think it doesn’t show anything one way or the other until a fact-finder has an opportunity to look at it in full context of all of the evidence,” Sheets said of the video.
President Judge Jeffrey A. Manning disagreed. He revoked Pehlivan’s bail and ordered him to surrender his passport.
Sheets said he and his client will be back in court next week to file a motion to reinstate bail. A date for that hearing has not been set. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 29.
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter @meganguzaTrib.