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Statesville man arrested on sexual battery, kidnapping charges
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Statesville man arrested on sexual battery, kidnapping charges

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 A Statesville man was charged with inappropriately touching two women at an eastern Iredell County convenience store.

Rohit Patel, 35, of Twilight Lane, Statesville, was charged with two counts of misdemeanor sexual battery and one count of felony second-degree kidnapping. A magistrate set bond at $25,000.

Iredell Sheriff Darren Campbell, in a news release, said deputies received a report of a sexual assault at the Country Food Mart, 3062 Salisbury Highway, on Aug. 29. The woman told deputies Patel had inappropriately touched her.

Detective Sgt. Katie Harwell of the sheriff’s office Special Victims Unit began an investigation and she learned that another woman might have been assaulted, Campbell said.

Harwell interviewed the second woman who said Patel touched her and attempted to prevent her from leaving the store, Campbell said. She told Harwell that Patel stepped in front of her and shoved her backwards and he continued to forcibly shove her toward the rear of the store, Campbell said. He said the woman indicated she feared Patel would push her into the beer cooler and assault her further.

Harwell obtained the warrants for Patel’s arrest.

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