AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – The owner of a downtown Auburn bar has registered as a sex offender after being found guilty of sexual misconduct by a municipal judge.

Pat Grider, owner of Skybar Cafe on West Magnolia Avenue, was found guilty on May 10, 2022 during a bench trial with Judge James McLaughlin. On February 23, 2022, Auburn police arrested Grider and charged him with sexual misconduct, a Class A misdemeanor. A victim who filed a complaint against him identified Grider as the suspect who allegedly sexually groped her. 

According to a report in the Auburn Villager, security camera footage played during the bench trial showed Grider grabbing the breast of the woman and also pressing another woman’s underwear into her face.

Grider was found guilty and ordered to register as a sex offender, as well as be fined $500 with $251 in court costs. He was sentenced to a 180-suspended jail sentence and did not serve any time.

Families who live near Grider received mail notifications with his picture, physical description and offense: The notification reads:

“The individual named in this notification is a convicted sex offender. The Auburn Police Dept. has been informed that this individual resides in your area. In accordance with Alabama State Law Under the Community Notifications Act, the Auburn Police Department is required to notify you that the listed individual will establish residence in Lee County. This information is made available for the purpose of protecting the public. Anyone who uses this information to commit a criminal act against another person is subject to criminal prosecution.“

Davis Whittelsey, Grider’s attorney, said his client strongly denied the allegations and is in the process of appealing the conviction.

“He’s registered because a municipal court judge serving at the leisure of the Auburn City Council and presiding over cases brought by the Auburn Police Department found him guilty in the face of overwhelming evidence of Pat’s complete innocence. Yes, it’s on appeal. There is no evidence of wrongdoing, and we will establish exactly what is behind this when the case goes to trial. I represent a local businessman that is not guilty,” said Whittelsey. 

A jury trial is set for March 27.