A Davis restaurant owner facing trial on sexual assault charges later this month made a plea agreement last week that resolved the case.
Ashot Manukyan, 59, pleaded no contest Thursday to a misdemeanor false-imprisonment charge, Yolo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Raven said.
Yolo Superior Court Judge David Rosenberg sentenced the Cafe Mediterranee owner to three years of probation, 480 hours of community service and a minimum of 16 weeks of counseling, according to Raven.
Manukyan also pleaded no contest to a sexual battery charge in an arrangement known as a deferred entry of plea, in which the judge and the parties agree that the plea will not be accepted or entered, nor will the defendant be sentenced, unless he violates his probation on the misdemeanor charge, Raven said.
In the event of a violation, the court accepts the plea and hands down a sentence for the felony count.
“It’s really a compromise of a very disputed case,” Manukyan’s attorney, Steven Sabbadini, said in a phone interview Tuesday. “In my opinion, it was in the client’s best interest to accept this plea agreement — it didn’t involve an admission of wrongdoing on his part, and it allows him to put this thing behind him.”
Had the case gone to trial, Manukyan faced more than eight years in state prison had he been convicted of the original charges, which also included assault with intent to commit sexual penetration and penetration with a foreign object, Sabbadini said.
The alleged victim, a former employee of the D Street restaurant, testified during a preliminary hearing last year that Manukyan offered her alcohol, hugged her and kissed her after calling her into his office on the night of Jan. 31, 2011.
She also alleged that Manukyan prevented her from leaving the office and sexually battered her by putting his hand down her pants.
Manukyan denied the allegations.
— Reach Lauren Keene at email@example.com or (530) 747-8048. Follow her on Twitter @laurenkeene