AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – An owner of a downtown Auburn bar has been found guilty of sexual misconduct by an Auburn municipal judge.
Pat Grider, the owner of Skybar Cafe on W Magnolia Avenue, was found guilty Tuesday during a bench trial with presiding Judge James McLaughlin. Auburn Police arrested Grider for misdemeanor sexual misconduct on Feb. 23. He was booked into the Lee County Detention Facility and made a $1,000 bond on the same day.
According to court documents, Grider was found guilty and then fined $500 together with $251 in court costs and zero restitution to the victim. Court documents indicate Grider was sentenced to a 180-day suspended sentence in the Lee County Detention Center, but because it was suspended will not serve any time. The defendant was given one day credit for time already served in jail on the charge.
At the time of Grider’s arrest, his attorney Davis Whittelsey told News 3 his client vehemently denied the allegations. Whittelsey indicated Tuesday in court they would appeal the guilty verdict. Wednesday morning, Whittelsey shared the following statement with News 3:
“The City of Auburn Municipal Court Judge, Jim McGlaughlin’s decision is incorrect as it is not supported by the evidence. An appeal was announced in open court & on the record. On appeal, if the City insist on continuing to pursue this matter, the case will be presented to an impartial jury where the City of Auburn should expect a very different outcome. Mr. Grider was fined $250, but was not sentenced to any jail time by the City Judge. The fine has been appealed as well,” said Whittelsey.
Auburn police say the case began when a complaint was filed, and an investigation began. The complainant identified Grider as the suspect and signed a warrant. The Auburn Police Division executed the warrant, and Grider was arrested on one misdemeanor count of sexual isconduct. The elements of sexual misconduct are: “13A-6-65 (a)(3) Engages in sexual contact with another person without his or her consent, under circumstances other than those under sections 13A-6-66; 13A-6-67; and 13A-6-69.1; or with consent where consent was obtained by the use of fraud or artifice.”