Sunday, February 6, 2011

LA county health inspector gets 115 days jail, lifetime SO registration for groping donut shop owner

A Los Angeles County health inspector was sentenced to 115 days in jail, three years probation and lifetime sex offender registration February 3 for groping a Pomona, CA doughnut shop owner. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David Brougham meted out the sentence February 3 in a Pomona, CA courtroom. 51 year old Magdy Tawadros was convicted on January 26 after jurors found him guilty of a single sexual battery count.

The groping took place March 24, 2010, at the 45 year old victim's shop, Pixie Donuts. A surveillance camera caught Tawadros grabbing the woman in the back room of her shop and touching her chest as she tried to get away. The victim's civil attorney, Tim McDonough, elaborates on the encounter.

"The first actual assault was a hug, at which point the female store owner distracts him and says, 'I have to look out for the customers,' and she escapes, and after that a second altercation occurs where she's reeled in and of course there's some groping that occurs, and some inappropriate hand touching and things of that nature, and at that point a second escape occurs that then leads on to a third physical altercation. He spends about 15 minutes on the premises asking the female store owner if he can date her, and asks for her phone number and apparently leaves another business card with her in an attempt to solicit her to engage in some sort of encounter with him in the future," said McDonough. The victim went to the police March 29, 2010.

Tawadros, who worked in the West Covina bureau of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, was initially placed on desk duty, but fired on April 14 after the surveillance tape came to light. According to defense attorney Michael Holmes, "Watching (the jury) view the surveillance tape it was clear they were uncomfortable with what happened and I think that was the deciding factor."

It was the second jury trial in the case. The first ended in a mistrial after Deputy District Attorney Lauren Guber failed to give Tawadros' defense attorney an audio recording she made during interviews with the alleged victim and her husband. Deputy District Attorney Daniel Rochmes prosecuted the case to conviction, Gibbons said. Rochmes could not immediately be reached for comment.

The victim impact statement by the woman and her husband said they were "so relieved now that the jury has found Mr. Tawadros guilty... In our view, he has shown no remorse for what he did and he has fabricated a gross public lie intended to prove that he was innocent and to turn the tables on his victims, our family. He used his advantageous position as a county public code enforcer to commit a criminal act while he was on duty."

A $10 million lawsuit has been filed against Tawadros by the victim.

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