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Porn video mirroring alleged attack can’t be used at Istanbul Sofra owner’s trial, judge rules | TribLIVE.com
Allegheny

Porn video mirroring alleged attack can’t be used at Istanbul Sofra owner’s trial, judge rules

Megan Guza
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Adnan Hilton Pehlivan

A pornographic video found on the phone of man accused of stalking and sexually assaulting a Pittsburgh woman last year cannot be used in his trial next week, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Adnan Pehlivan, who owned Regent Square’s now-shuttered Istanbul Sofra restaurant, is accused of following the woman home from a South Side bar May 15, breaking into her home and sexually assaulting her.

A search warrant for Pehlivan’s cellphone turned up a pornographic video he’d downloaded months earlier showing a man sneaking into a woman’s bedroom and performing oral sex on her – the same act Pehlivan is accused of perpetrating.

Lee Rothman, Pehlivan’s defense attorney, argued last week that the search warrant under which the phone was seized was unspecific, and there was no reason for investigators to believe Pehlivan’s phone contained evidence.

In an opinion issued Tuesday, Court of Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning agreed.

Manning wrote that the affidavit of probable cause filed against Pehlivan mentioned a cellphone only in the context that the victim told officers she did not give Pehlivan her phone number.

“(There) was no reason for the detective to conclude that the phone would reveal any calls or messages between the defendant and victim,” Manning wrote. “Nor is there any reference in the affidavit to the victim observing the defendant in possession of” that particular cellphone or any other mobile device.

Manning thus ruled that the search and seizure of the video were unlawful, and the evidence is inadmissible.

Pehlivan has remained in the Allegheny County Jail since May 24 when his bond was revoked after a hearing in which he requested permission to travel abroad. Manning denied two subsequent bond requests.

Prosecutors have shown surveillance footage from East Carson Street the night of the alleged attack that they say shows Pehlivan systematically stalking the victim and her friends as they left bar. She has told police she and Pehlivan spoke briefly at the bar, and that she did not know him prior to that meeting.

She awoke later that night to find Pehlivan sexually assaulting her, according to the charges against him. She fought him off and he ran, police said, but she tore off a piece of his shirt in the process.

Jury selection for the trial is set to begin Monday morning. Pehlivan is charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, burglary, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, simple assault and three counts of stalking.

A sign in front of the restaurant last month said it had closed.

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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