SALINA, Kansas – The owner of a Salina gas station has been under fire after being arrested Monday for allegedly inappropriately touching a woman inside the store.
“On Monday morning, we were contacted by a 29-year-old female who reported that, while she was at the Pump Mart on North Ninth, there was an individual there who inappropriately touched her on the breast,” said Captain Mike Sweeney, of the Salina Police Department.
The victim reports that the incident allegedly happened on Sunday.
60-year-old Rasikbhai Maganlal Mody was arrested Monday on a misdemeanor charge of sexual battery. Later that day, he reportedly posted bail.
People have been protesting the north Salina convenience store, owned by Rasikbhai Mody, several times this week.
Mody has been a registered sex offender for about a decade.
After his most recent arrest, some Salina residents say they are fed up and want to see him gone from the neighborhood.
After posting bail, Mody continued working at the store among patrons. It was something residents say should not be allowed, by law.
“We shouldn’t have to worry about sending our kids or our loved ones to go get gas or a soda and worry about them getting attacked or groped,” said Amanda Raccagno, an organizer of Thursday’s protest.
“I want him gone. He needs to be gone,” said Tom Humphries, a protester.
According to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Mody was convicted in 2005 of aggravated sexual battery, a felony, and sexual battery, a misdemeanor.
The victim in the felony charge was an 18-year-old woman. The victim in the misdemeanor charge was a 45-year-old woman.
There were also residents who came to the store owner’s defense.
Melani Grubbs, a frequent customer of the store, tells KSN that people are making up lies about Mody and says that he is a good man.
“These people don’t let this man go ahead and go through the court… Find him guilty before you, you convict him out here,” said Grubbs.
“I’ve never had any problems with him. I’ve lived in Salina my whole life,” said April Hoard, a nearby resident. “Everybody has a past, and I think if he got help once, he can get help again.”
Hoard also suggested the latest incident could have been accidental.
Protesters say they will continue demonstrations until the business closes its doors or until Mody no longer works there.
“As long as he’s able to work in there, or be in there, somebody’s in danger,” said Raccagno.
When KSN spoke with Mody face-to-face inside the convenience store Thursday, he said it is his word versus the latest alleged victim’s word.
Mody said the woman had a $52 debt with the store and wanted to buy something else, but she couldn’t. He says he was consoling her and there must have been some sort of miscommunication.
Mody would not speak with KSN on camera.
KSN is working to learn more about Mody’s prior convictions and what, if anything at all, his bond conditions included. We have calls in to the county attorney to learn the bond conditions from Mody’s arrest on Monday, as well.
The latest incident of alleged sexual battery is currently still under investigation.
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