By Abigail Henderson
WOODLAND- Two women were allegedly groped by a man they did not know last June and July in Davis.
The defendant, Seyyed Ehsun Tabatabaifar, faced a preliminary hearing this afternoon for the alleged groping of the two young women. One woman was groped in her buttocks and genital regions, and the other on her breasts. Both events occurred roughly a month apart.
He was charged with two counts of felony sexual battery, one count felony of false imprisonment with force and violence, and one misdemeanor for false imprisonment as well.
The judge ruled to run the first prelim right into the second, hearing witness testimonies that overlapped over both prelims.
The prosecution called the first witness, an alleged victim, to give her testimony. When she began describing the alleged groping, she became emotional.
In June of 2019, the alleged victim’s friend had invited the defendant out with them to get sandwiches from Ike’s Love & Sandwiches, a shop in downtown Davis.
After picking the two girls up from the apartment, the defendant allegedly touched the alleged victim’s hand and buttocks while at the restaurant, and her thigh on the drive back to the apartment. The victim immediately demanded that he stop, but he refused.
The alleged victim stated she was uncomfortable during her time with the defendant, most notably when Mr. Tabatabaifar came back over to their apartment later that same night.
The defendant arrived again, and allegedly greeted the victim by asking her to hug him. She immediately declined, but he allegedly pulled her into a bear hug and pulled her onto the couch. Mr. Tabatabaifar then proceeded to stick his hand down her skirt, touching her genital area.
This unwanted advance lasted for about a minute, as she screamed for him to stop at least five times before he finally did.
The second witness to testify was Sergeant Bestpitch, the lead investigator in this case. She was assigned to do a follow-up investigation into the defendant and she began by taking a statement from the victim’s friend.
She had been with the alleged victim and the defendant for the entirety of the night and witnessed the groping firsthand.
The alleged victim’s friend stated she had seen the defendant touching her friend’s thigh, and asked him to stop. When she invited him back over that night, she said she believed he was not going to touch her friend anymore.
When Mr. Tabatabaifar groped her friend, she kneed him in the face to get him to stop.
After these witnesses gave their testimony, the court moved to the second part of this combined prelim. The first and only witness was Officer Matthew Muscardini, a detective with the Davis Police Department.
His testimony included his interview with the other woman Mr. Tabatabaifar allegedly groped.
This alleged victim had been finishing getting a massage when she heard yelling from the lobby of the spa. When she dressed and came out, the defendant, she said, had a “dopey” grin on his face and then he exited.
She told Officer Muscardini that she knew at that moment that he would be outside waiting for her when she left.
And when she finally did go outside, he allegedly grabbed her and put her up against a car with all of his weight. Mr. Tabatabaifar also demanded that she kiss him. Somehow, she slipped away and ran.
When the officer included the defendant in a lineup, this victim identified Mr. Tabatabaiefar as her assaulter.
When Officer Muscardini was finished giving his testimony, the defense moved into its argument for all felony counts to be made misdemeanors because of the lack of seriousness in the defendant’s conduct.
Judge David Rosenberg described this case to be “troubling” and “disturbing,” turning down the defense’s argument for the felony reduction.
He scheduled the arraignment for April 2, 2020.
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