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Former Neighborhood Hero Faces Sexual Assault Charge

By: CICELY MITCHELL
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Rik Melartin (credit: HCSO)

Rik Melartin (credit: HCSO)

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HOUSTON (CBS Houston) He was once called “The Finnisher” and made headlines for after catching a burglar in his Bellaire neighborhood. He is now accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl who worked at his car dealership.

Fifty-one-year-old Rik Melartin surrendered to authorities Thursday and was later released on a $50,000 bond.

Melartin who is originally from Finland was dubbed “The Finnisher” after he pulled a gun on an armed robber who had held up his neighbor.

Afterward, he turned turned his act of heroism into a solid platform for his car dealership. Melartin, owner of the John Keating Chevrolet dealership in Crosby and his assistant are accused of having improper sexual contact with a 16-year-old girl who worked at the lot.

According to officials with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Melartin faces charges of sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child. His assistant, 37-year-old George Maroun Koutani faces the charge of indecency with a child.

The teenage girl was a receptionist at the dealership. Court documents indicate that the teen was offered an energy beverage by Melartin just before closing time in August of 2012. She said that the drink tasted funny. It was later revealed that Melartin spiked the beverage with alcohol. After consuming the laced beverage, both Melartin and Koutani allegedly touched the teen inappropriately.

Melartin is also accused of sexually assaulting the teen and paying her $500.

Additional reports indicate that Melartin who surrendered to authorities on Thursday, was on probation for illegally operating a sexually oriented business.

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