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Davis, California

Monday, June 24, 2024

Restaurant owner accused of rape

The owner of Café Méditerranée – a restaurant in downtown Davis – is facing rape charges for an alleged Jan. 31 incident involving a 22-year-old woman in the restaurant’s office. He is currently out on bail.

According to the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, Ashot Manukyan, 58, was arrested May 11 at the restaurant, on a warrant listing three felony charges. He is accused of assault with intent to commit rape, sexual penetration by means of force or violence and false imprisonment and misdemeanor sexual battery.

At a bail hearing last Wednesday, Judge Paul Richardson lowered Manukyan’s bail from $150,000 to $100,000.

Steve Pierce, assistant chief at the Davis Police Department, told the Davis Enterprise he could not release additional information about the alleged incident, including whether the woman was an employee of the business.

Detectives conducted a two-week investigation, then forwarded the case to the District Attorney’s office which issued a warrant for Manukyan’s arrest on May 9, Pierce said.

Richardson lowered the bail, since there are unusual circumstances concerning his age, his connections to the community and the fact that he has no previous criminal history. Still, because of public safety concerns and the seriousness of the crimes, he kept these facts in mind when setting bail.

The judge signed a protective order for the victim as a condition of bail.

James Granucci, Manukyan’s lawyer, along with those who work at the restaurant, declined to comment.

A preliminary hearing is set for May 24.

– Angela Swartz


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