Weatherford Democrat

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April 19, 2012

Businessman arrested for sexual assault

SPRINGTOWN — The owner of Tony’s Pizza and Pasta in Springtown was arrested April 12 on a warrant after an employee reportedly accused Avni “Tony” Muhametaj of sexually assaulting her.

Springtown Police Lt. Curtis Stone said a woman, described as in her mid-20s, went to Harris Northwest Hospital in Azle on March 20 requesting to be checked out after being sexually assaulted. After hospital staff alerted Springtown police, he reportedly went to the hospital to interview her.

The woman told Stone that she worked at Tony’s on March 19 until closing and asked another coworker for a ride when Muhametaj offered to give her a ride home after work and she turned him down, Stone said. He reportedly went back inside the business.

She said there were no lights out back so she went inside and Muhametaj called her into his office. She said he sexually assaulted her there, according to Stone.

The woman indicated she told Muhametaj, “No,” several times, Stone said.

There were no weapons involved in the incident, according to Stone.

He obtained a search warrant for Muhametaj’s DNA and was able to send it to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office for comparison to the sample collected during the woman’s sexual assault exam.

He is awaiting those results before filing the case with the Parker County District Attorney’s Office, Stone said.

Police have received some previous complaints from employees alleging sexual harrassment but “nothing with enough probable cause to pursue charges on,” according to Stone.

Muhametaj was arrested April 12 after police met him at his business and served the warrant there.

Muhametaj, who posted $50,000 bond on April 13, initially told the Democrat he did not know what he was charged with and later said he did not sexually assault an employee.

The woman quit sometime in March and he had no issues with her in the past, according to Muhametaj, who added he could now see how she had been “scheming” and “asking certain questions” and was “very well-organized.”

“It’s nothing but modern day extortion,” Muhametaj said, though, when asked if the woman had demanded money, Muhametaj said he had not spoken with her.

Muhametaj said he does not have an office and has six cameras around the restaurant that will show he did not sexually assault the woman.

He also denied sexually harrassing any other employees and said he had not heard of any such complaints to police.

Stone said he also investigating two other aggravated sexual assault cases, both involving children, an unusual trend for Springtown police. Stone said they may get a sexual assault case every year or two but not three in the last three weeks.

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