Sarasota business owner charged with sexual battery on 16-year-old employee

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. -- A Sarasota restaurant owner accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in his employ is behind bars and police believe there are more victims.

Fernando A. Palomino, 45, allegedly sexually battered the teen in the backroom of Palomino's Inkanto Peruvian restaurant on October 15.

According to the Sarasota Police Department affidavit, the victim reported that Palomino orally and manually penetrated her against her will while she was working at the restaurant located at 4141 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota Springs.

The victim reported she started working at the restaurant one day before the alleged attack. She told police that Palomino said he was a massage therapist and attempted to massage her back "numerous times." The victim also stated that the unwanted flirtatious advances were strange because Palomino's wife also worked at the restaurant.

On the day of the attack, Palomino's wife left the restaurant and her husband allegedly locked the doors to the business and invited the victim to a back room. She complied with him as he led her to a the room and groped her. She tried to turn away from Palomino who then said "This is how you're going to forget your ex-boyfriend," according to the affidavit.

Palomino told the victim to turn against the wall and he penetrated her anal and vaginal orifices. He allegedly order her to perform oral sex on him, but the victim refused and began crying. Palomino stopped his attack and asked the victim to "talk about the incident" because she was visibly upset.

The victim reported that she pulled up her pants and left the business to contact her friend. She was admitted to Sarasota Memorial Hospital where she completed a rape kit and proceeded to press charges against Palomino.

Palomino was brought down to the police station Monday night by SPD detectives. He told deputies during two interviews that he engaged in oral sex with the victim and also consented to a mouth swab. Detectives placed him under arrest and charged him with sexual battery of a child who is 12 years of age or older but younger than 18 years of age.

SPD believes there may be more victims of Palomino. They are asking the public to help with additional information related to this incident. Contact Det. Dustin Luciano at 941-363-5827.

(© 2016 WTSP)


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