An Oklahoma man, facing sexual battery charges after grabbing the buttocks of a woman at a Professional Bull Riders event, is suing a man who defended the woman, saying he was “embarrassed and humiliated” when confronted, reports NewsAt6 Oklahoma.
Leonel Olivarez, who has been charged by prosecutors with felony sexual battery after groping Melissa Smith, is suing Shane Vernon claiming Vernon followed him to his seat and assaulted him. According to Olivarez, Vernon grabbed his shoulder in an aggressive manner causing him to believe a physical attack was imminent. In the suit, Olivarez contends Vernon’s actions were intended to “embarrass and humiliate” him.
According to Smith, she was working at the Tulsa PBR event in September when she says Olivarez grabbed her buttocks in a such a way that there was no mistaking his intent.
Witnessing the groping, Vernon approached her and asked her if she knew the man who’d groped her. She told him she did not.
Vernon said he then followed Olivarez to his seat where he confronted him, yelling at him that what he did was wrong.
“I grabbed his cigars and threw them into the arena, and I was still amped up, so I grabbed his cowboy hat and threw that into the arena,” he said.
According to his lawsuit, Olivarez said he was attacked by Vernon while at the same time denying he touched Smith.
However, in a taped interview, Olivarez earlier admitted to police that he grabbed Smith’s behind and demonstrated for investigators how he did it.
According to police, Olivarez even wrote the victim a letter of apology.
The attorney for Olivarez said his client has no prior record and is defending himself from serious charges. If convicted, Olivarez could spend up to 10 years in prison and would have to register as a sex offender.
Vernon said he can no longer comment on the case since he now has to hire an attorney to defend himself against the lawsuit.
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