Jury selection underway for restaurant owner accused of sexual assault

Jury selection underway for restaurant owner accused of sexual assault

PITTSBURGH — Jury selection is underway in the trial of local restaurateur Adnan Pehlivan, who is accused of sexual assault.

Police say Pehlivan followed a young woman home from a bar on the South Side, broke into her apartment and sexually assaulted her.

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The alleged incident on May 15 is one of the county’s most high-profile cases because of Pehlivan’s status in the community and because of videos prosecutors have obtained.

Pehlivan was in the courtroom Monday, along with his family.


His defense attorney had several questions for jurors and gave the judge a letter that was allegedly sent to Pehlivan’s brother.

The letter is not signed, but the defense believes it’s from a family member of the victim and described the letter as menacing.

The defense wanted the judge to have the letter and possibly take some action on it. The judge said it was up to the District Attorney's office whether to investigate the origin of the letter and prosecute whoever is behind it.

By mid-day Monday, no jurors were seated. The jury selection process could take one to two days.

Last week, a judge ruled a video found on Pehivan's phone that shows a man sneaking into a woman's bedroom and performing a sex act on her while she was asleep cannot be used at trial. The video portrays a similar situation in which Pehlivan is accused.

There is another video that is part of the prosecutor’s case: A surveillance video from the night of the attack that shows Pehlivan following the alleged victim and her friends as they go home.