PITTSFIELD -- The owner of a local pizza shop is free on $1,000 bail after denying charges that he tried to sexually assault an employee inside the business.
Yildirim Saritas, 40, the owner of Empire Pizza on North Street, allegedly lured a 28-year-old woman to the basement of the business about 4 p.m. Sunday, according to police. He allegedly forced himself on her, kissed her on the lips, pulled her shirt up exposing her breasts, shoved his hand down her pants and tried to force her to touch his crotch.
The alleged assault was stopped when another employee entered the room, according to a police report.
The other employee told police he hadn't seen anything except the woman crying.
Attorney Jill Sheldon entered not guilty pleas on Saritas' behalf Monday in Central Berkshire District Court to single counts of felony indecent assault and battery on a person over 14 and assault to rape.
He was released on $1,000 cash bail by Judge Fredric D. Rutberg with conditions that he stay away from the complaining witness.
Saritas, who is a Turkish immigrant, is expected back in court on Nov. 8 so that a Turkish interpreter can be there. The case is likely to go to the grand jury.
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