David Hansing, who owned Cork’s and Stubby’s in downtown Amherst until it closed in August, has been convicted of sexual battery.
A jury handed down its verdict Friday in the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas after a two-week trial.
While it found Hansing guilty of the third-degree felony, saying he had sex with an employee who was intoxicated during a late-night shift, the jury did not convict him on rape or kidnapping counts.
“Dave’s always maintained it was consensual,” said attorney Michael Kinlin, who represented Hansing. He said the jury “obviously didn’t believe” the victim’s story.
Sentencing is set for 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 14.
Kinlin plans to ask for no prison time for his client, saying Hansing “lived a law-abiding life for 42 years.”
He also plans to take the case to the 9th District Court of Appeals.
Video footage from the scene shows the victim was not substantially impaired and it “looks like she was completely sober,” Kinlin said.
Hansing, of Avon, owned and operated Cork’s and Stubby’s at the corner of Park Avenue and South Main Street.
It suddenly closed down about six weeks prior to the start of his trial, signs appearing on doors and furniture disappearing from an outdoor patio.
The closure left many customers who had rented the space for weddings and other private events in the lurch, according to building owner Paul Bires, who had once been Hansing’s business partner before selling his stake in the downtown business. Bires took it on his shoulders to help those customers in the wake of the closing.
The space reopened Monday under different ownership. It is now Cole’s Public House, run by chef Robby Lucas.
“I don’t want people to walk in and think Cork’s is just reopening,” Lucas told the News-Times. “I want them to see what I’m offering, that I’m breathing new life into this place.”
A second section, called the Cork Tree Tavern, is planned to open in early January.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.