Car dealership owner surrenders on sex assault charge

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Riku Melartin

CROSBY, Texas - A car dealership owner accused of sexually assaulting a teenager has surrendered to authorities.

Riku Melartin, the owner of John Keating Chevrolet in Crosby, surrendered on Thursday and was expected to be released on bond.

Melartin has been accused of having sex with a 16-year-old employee. Another employee of the dealership, George Koutani, has been accused of fondling the teen.

"The defendants would take her upstairs, to an upstairs office, and either touch her inappropriately or, at one point, sexually assault her," said Donna Hawkins of the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

Court records read that the teen was fondled on two occasions and had sex with Melartin one time between August and October 2012.

According to court documents, "The complainant believed Riku gave her a total close to $500.00 dollars [sic] between the three incidents."

Hawkins said the incidents came to light when the teen's stepfather, who is listed in court records as working for Melartin at the dealership, received an anonymous call. Court records read the stepfather told detectives the caller said "he overhead George Koutani bragging at the dealership about him having sex with the complaint."

Koutani has been charged with indecency with a child.

Court record also show at the time Melartin was charged, he was already on probation for a misdemeanor charge of violating the Harris County's sexually-oriented business law. Court records read Melartin owned Babe's cabaret on Hillcroft and on West F.M. 1960 in January and February of last year. Investigators wrote that after conducting an undercover operation during those months, they determined Melartin was running a sexually-oriented business at the F.M. 1960 location but had not obtained a sexually-oriented business license.

Court records read Melartin pleaded guilty to the charge in September and was given one year probation and deferred adjudication of guilt. Court records read Melartin is no longer the owner of the F.M. 1960 location.

Melartin was heralded by some as a hero 11 months ago.

Last February, Melartin recounted for Local 2 how he helped stop a man who robbed an elderly neighbor in Bellaire. Melartin's story went viral on the web, in part because of how he referred to his .50 caliber handgun as his "dancing partner."

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