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Air Force colonel loses sex conviction appeal

TNS Regional News • Apr 6, 2014 at 4:07 PM

An Air Force colonel’s appeal against a misdemeanor sexual imposition conviction was denied by the Second District Court of Appeals, the court announced Friday.

The court rejected Col. Mayan Shah’s assertions that the testimony of a woman who said Shah offered to perform a sex act on her before the events that led to the case were prejudicial and that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to convict.

Shah was sentenced July 30, 2013, to a suspended 60-day jail sentence after a jury found him guilty of sexual imposition involving a woman at the Aug. 25, 2012, Ale Fest in Dayton’s Carillon Park. Shah also was ordered to serve 180 days home detention, was sentenced to three years’ probation, was classified as a Tier I sex offender and ordered to pay court costs.

Shah, then a 23-year military veteran and research analyst at Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, was chided by Dayton Municipal Court Judge Christopher D. Roberts, who said: “I have zero respect and tolerance for the conduct” Shah was accused of and noted that Shah “did not receive one letter of support.”

Shah’s appeal described that Shah came to the festival alone, planned to drink 30 to 45 ounces of alcoholic beverages, but “did not realize that ale was much more potent than beer.”

Testimony during the trial revealed Shah propositioned a female when the festival was nearly over. After that is when Shah approached a group of women with their work uniforms from The Pub. The women testified that Shah lifted up the skirt of one woman, was told to stop and then touched the genital area of another under her skirt but over her tights.

At trial, the defense said Shah was “too intoxicated to form the purpose of sexual gratification” and that he was too drunk to know the touching would be offensive. The court, in an opinion written by Judge Jeffrey Welbaum, rejected that notion and that Shah’s conviction “is not against the manifest weight of the evidence.”

At trial sentencing, defense attorney Jon Paul Rion said Shah submitted his retirement papers to the Air Force and that his client will pay financially for the rest of his life. Shah told Roberts that he apologized “for all that’s happened.”


By Mark Gokavi - Dayton Daily News, Ohio (MCT)

©2014 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)

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