Car dealer turns himself in on sex assault charges

January 3, 2013 2:37:05 PM PST
Rik Melartin became a local hero for what he did in his Bellaire home in February. Now, he's an accused criminal for what a teenager says happened at his Crosby car dealership.

There were open warrants for Melartin's arrest, until he turned himself in to court Thursday afternoon. He has posted bond.

According to court records, the alleged victim's stepfather was tipped off by an anonymous caller saying he knew what had happened to the teenager because Melartin's co-defendant was bragging about it. Melartin -- the owner of John Keating Chevrolet -- and his assistant at the dealership, George Koutani, are charged with indecency with a child. Melartin is also accused of sexually assaulting the 16-year-old. She told investigators she was helping her mother clean last August when the two men gave her an energy drink laced with alcohol and touched her inappropriately.

In October, according to documents, Melartin took her upstairs and sexually assaulted her. After the incidents, he paid her a total of $500.

Melartin was already on probation for illegally operating a sexually oriented business. His attorney in that case did not return our calls for comment Wednesday.
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