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Police: Waitress Raped at Pelican Pete's

Juan Alberto Melgar, who owns the Germantown restaurant, has been charged with second-degree rape after alleged bathroom encounter on Aug. 7.

The owner of Pelican Pete’s has been charged with second-degree rape after allegedly forcing one of his waitresses to have sex in the bathroom during a night of drinking with his employees at the Germantown restaurant.

Montgomery County police and statements made Friday in Montgomery County District Court sketch out the following scenario:

After closing Pelican Pete’s for the night on Aug. 6, Juan Alberto Melgar and several of his employees stayed for drinks, which stretched into the early morning hours of Aug. 7. Melgar—52, of the 11000 block of Staten Court in Germantown—went with the group to drink more at La Mexicana restaurant, less than a mile away. When La Mexicana closed, the group went back to Pelican Pete’s to keep drinking. At one point, the waitress—who had been working at Pelican Pete’s for a month—went to the bathroom. Melgar came in, kissed her, pushed her into a corner and forced her to have sex, according to police.

Melgar left the bathroom after five minutes, police said.

The waitress went to police on Aug. 8. Police issued their warrant for Melgar on Tuesday and arrested him without incident at Johnny’s Kabob, which he also owns.

Samuel Delgado, Melgar’s attorney, attacked the police version of events at Melgar’s bond review hearing on Friday, beginning with the waitress’s inconspicuous behavior after returning from the bathroom, and her two-day delay in reporting the incident to police.

Delgado said that the waitress kept drinking with the group after the alleged incident. He also pointed out that police charging documents don’t mention that anyone observed anything unusual.

"The reason it’s not there is because it didn’t happen this way," he said.

Prosecutors refuted Delgado’s argument by pointing out that victims oftentimes do not immediately report sexual assaults by their employer.

"Under these circumstances, it makes a delayed response actually almost expected in cases like this," said Assistant State’s Attorney Marybeth Ayres.

Also at issue in today’s court bond review: Melgar has been held in jail since Wednesday because officials have been unable to verify his identity. At his initial bond review on Thursday, Melgar was ordered held without bond another day while jail officials fixed a fingerprinting error. Their mistake hadn’t been corrected by Friday’s hearing. When jail officials asked Judge Eugene Wolfe to detain him until Monday, Delgado pushed for his client’s immediate release.

Melgar employs 35 people at his two restaurants, Delgado said, is a father of four, has no criminal record and has been a U.S. citizen for more than 25 years.

"He is an example for this community," Delgado said. "To hold him another day, another minute … is unfair and unjust."

Prosecutors argued against Melgar's release prior to correcting the error and because of the seriousness of the charge.

Wolfe ordered that Melgar be released on unsecured personal bond but required him to wear an electronic bracelet and to surrender his passport pending a preliminary hearing on Sept. 16.

cameron September 07, 2011 at 11:29 PM
You all have your own opinions which is what makes America so great but I believe that with these hard times that everyone in the United States are facing lots of people are out there looking for the get rich quick schemes. And what better way then to try to get over on a man that to be honest by the picture doesn't look like he even speaks a word of English but to know he's a double business owner. It's unbelievable to me that a man with so much to lose would violate an employee at that for any reason, again everyone has there own opinion and this is just mine. It all seems too fishy after researching this alleged accusation one report stated that she had only worked there for a month was with a group not just him and her but a group of people and no one saw or heard anything out of the ordinary huh I will be following this story because it just seems like a very shady one.
Jeff Hawkins September 08, 2011 at 12:37 PM
Cameron, You are assuming alot, one..... that this is a get rich scheme, two..... that the gentleman can't speak english (what difference would that make), three.....making that judgement based on a photo, and four.............the notion that a man won't risk everything they have........look no further than the highest office in the land.
Roya Mortazavi July 04, 2012 at 07:01 PM
We ( Iranian community) know him as johny, he has been known as One of the best cook and owner of a restaurant which has the best Iranian food and also had been catered most of the Iranian events like, weddings, funerals, dinner parties, people have been flying him to islands for their weddings. He is the love of the Iranian society and have been in our homes. I have never been uncomfortable with him. He is a gentleman and hope he is not guilty .
jimmy mcnulty July 07, 2012 at 04:59 AM
Pelican Pete's is currently not open for business (not sure if this is temporary or permanent). Does anyone know if it closed because of this incident, or is this unrelated. I always liked Pelican Pete's, just wondering why they aren't open
lv August 31, 2012 at 05:25 AM
Pelican Pete's has grand opening last.week but now its own by a new management n i will be working there as a bartender same place with a new start n new employees.

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