Mistrial in sex assault trial of Pittsburgh restaurateur, who is acquitted of stalking
A jury deadlocked on all sex crimes in the trial of former Istanbul Sofra owner Adnan Pehlivan and acquitted him of stalking and simple assault.
Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning declared a mistrial after the jury of eight men and four women announced that it could not reach a unanimous decision on the charges of sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and burglary.
Pehlivan, 47, was found not guilty of stalking and simple assault.
Escorted from the courtroom, Pehlivan declared, “I’m looking for justice.”
Lee Rothman, Pehlivan’s attorney, said he was grateful for the two not-guilty verdicts.
“It also poses some very interesting issues, if there’s going to be a retrial, what would be admissible – particularly the video … they were indicating was (Pehlivan) stalking,” he said. “I believe double jeopardy may prevent them from making such an argument in the future.”
A retrial must be scheduled within the next 90 days.
Jury in Pehlivan case deadlocked on all sex crimes, finds him not guilty of simple assault and stalking pic.twitter.com/0quozUrAjj
— Megan Guza (@meganguzaTrib) March 6, 2019
Manning remanded Pehlivan to the Allegheny County Jail. Rothman indicated he plans to file a motion requesting his client be released on bond.
“All those things he was found not guilty of today, particularly the stalking charges, and the evidence that was suppressed were the very things they were arguing to have his bond revoked in the first place,” Rothman said. “Those are now absent.”
The former restaurateur was accused of following the alleged victim and her friends from Kopy’s bar on South 12th Street on Pittsburgh’s South Side to their Josephine Street home, breaking in through a window and sexually assaulting the woman as she slept.
Prosecutors played a video during the trial that showed Pehlivan following the women as they walked to their cars.
The woman testified last week that she awoke to find Pehlivan performing oral sex on her.
Pehlivan contended in his testimony that the woman invited him to her apartment and told him to follow her. He testified that the woman told him: “I want to make out with you. I want to hook up with you.”
The jury informed Manning on Wednesday afternoon that they could not agree to a verdict on some charges. He sent them to deliberate for another hour before they declared a verdict could not be reached on four of the charges.
One juror declined to comment after the jury was dismissed. The others left immediately after they were dismissed.
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, email@example.com or via Twitter .