Court date set for convenience store rape

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

TRENTON — A 48-year-old convenience store owner was arraigned Tuesday in Wayne County Circuit Court on charges of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in the back room of his Fort Street business.

Rakeshkumar Patel was charged before Circuit Court Judge David Groner with two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a juvenile between the ages of 13 and 15, a 15-year-felony; one count of criminal sexual conduct of force or coercion; and onecount of furnishing alcohol to a minor.

Previously, the teenage girl testified during preliminary hearings held before 33rd District Court Judge Jennifer Coleman Hesson. The girl told prosecutors that she and others often frequented Trenton Food Mart, 3720 Fort St., where they knew the owner as “Rocky” and were often provided alcohol. On the day before Thanksgiving, the girl said that Patel gave her alcohol which she consumed in the store’s back room, where he sexually assaulted her.

The girl and her mother reported the incident to Trenton Police, and Patel was arrested the following day.

Following last week’s arraignment, Patel is next scheduled to appear before Circuit Court Judge Margie R. Braxton for a hearing, the date of which was yet to be determined by press time. He remains free on $75,000 bond, surrendered his passport and is prohibited from contact with the victim or her family.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)

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