Former Istanbul Sofra restaurateur charged with sex assault takes stand
Closing arguments in the sexual assault case against a former Pittsburgh restaurant owner will begin Tuesday and jurors could start deliberating on the case by the afternoon.
Adnan Pehlivan testified in his own defense Monday, admitting to the jury that he followed the alleged victim home from Kopy’s bar on May 15 and telling them that she told him to.
Pehlivan, 47, is accused of stalking the woman and her friends from the bar to their home before breaking into the woman’s basement living space and sexually assaulting her. His trial entered its fourth day of testimony on Monday.
Rather than sharing her phone number or address, Pehlivan said, the woman told him to follow her and her friends. He said he followed them as they walked six blocks to their car and then followed their car to their Josephine Street home.
Pehlivan testified that the woman told him at the bar that he was cute and, “I want to make out with you. I want to hook up with you.”
Pehlivan said he was not thinking about having sex with the woman he arrived at her house. That’s why he left his shirt, tie and jacket on when he went inside her door, Pehlivan testified.
The alleged victim testified last week that she never told Pehlivan her address or the route to her home, and she said she never asked him to follow her or said she wanted to hook up with him. Her roommate and another friend with her that night testified they, too, never gave out their address, and they never heard the woman converse with Pehlivan about sex or wanting to hook up.
Testimony closed with Assistant District Attorney Edward Sheid’s cross examination of Pehlivan.
Monday’s testimony followed footage shown in court Friday catching Pehlivan following the alleged victim and two friends from Kopy’s bar on South 12th Street to their vehicles at South 18th Street. The security cameras along East Carson Street show Pehlivan leapfrogging the women several times, driving past them, pulling over, then driving past them and pulling over again.
He told his attorney, Lee Rothman, during testimony in that he’d done so because the alleged victim told him to.
He said it was during consensual sexual contact that she grabbed his hair and asked, “Who are you, what are you doing,” Pehlivan said
“I said, ‘It’s me, Adnan,’” he said. “At one point she was a good person and the next she was a different person.”
He said he was shocked, and he was scared. He said he was not trying to run away as he left her bedroom, but rather he was “trying to have a conversation.” He testified that she did not scream while he was there, but rather just kept asking, “Who are you.”
The woman testified Thursday that she and Pehlivan struggled once she woke to find he’d come through her window. He pushed and punched at her, she said, and his shirt collar tore and she fell into a laundry basket, scraping her back.
Pehlivan testified that she fell into the basket and he helped her up, putting his shoes on along the way.
“I grabbed her arms and (lifted) her up, I said, ‘Are you OK?’” he said.
He said the woman was still sitting on the floor – not screaming – as he walked out the door then reached back in to grab the suit jacket he’d left on her dresser.
Closing arguments will begin 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .