Ashland motel manager faces sexual battery charges of tenant

Posted at 1:37 AM, Jul 24, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-24 01:37:58-04

ASHLAND, Va. (WTVR)--A female tenant has accused an Ashland motel manager of sexually battery.

Shailesh Patel is charged with sexual battery, a Class One misdemeanor.

Court documents show the alleged victim says she went to pay her rent at the Apple Garden Inn when Patel grabbed her rear-end.

The court document claims that on the next interaction with Patel he hassled the complainant about late rent.

“I turned around and started to walk out of the office and he grabbed me, pulled me back against him and slid his hand up and grabbed my breast. Then he said ‘Maybe we can work out a deal.’”

But Patel’s wife claims she was just a few feet from her husband when the alleged incident took place and that he did no such thing.

At Ashland’s Apple Garden Inn, some living there don't hesitate to tell you things are sour.

"It’s pretty disturbing to be living in this habitat,” said one male resident who asked me to hide his face and disguise his voice, afraid that he'd be evicted for speaking out.  "I just got a job man and I don't have anywhere else to go," he said.

"It's really easy to take out a charge on someone,” said CBS-6 legal expert Todd Stone.  “Magistrates are available 24/7, so if she made a sworn statement, she's saying it's true.

Stone says the burden of proof is on the woman making the complaint and eyewitnesses will certainly help.

"If he has witnesses that say they were with him, these witnesses will be vital in proving his innocence," Stone said.

Patel has a court hearing Thursday morning.  If convicted, he faces up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

We will continue to follow this story.