May 9 set for convenience store rape trial

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

TRENTON — Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Edward Ewell Jr. scheduled a May trial to hear charges against a man accused of sexually assaulting a teen girl in a Fort Street convenience store.

Rakeshkumar Patel, 48, is accused of two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a juvenile between the ages of 13 and 15, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. A final conference is scheduled for March 30, and jury selection is to begin May 9.

Patel is also charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor, as the convenience store manager known to local youth as “Rocky” was known to let local teens hang out in the store’s back room. Prosecutors allege that in November 2011 Patel gave alcohol to a teen girl, who drank while using a computer in the store room. Patel is alleged to have sexually assaulted her on a small cot in the storage area.

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

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