Club Owner Re-Arrested After Bonding Out

Posted November 14, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. -- An Orlando nightclub owner has been re-arrested after initially bonding out of jail on Thursday.

Fred Khalilian, who owns Dolce, a popular downtown club, was re-arrested on an outstanding warrant in connection with battery on a law enforcement officer. The warrant was issued on Thursday by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Khalilian said his notoriety led to false accusations against him. The woman who accused him said otherwise.

Khalilian, 35, initially bonded out of jail early Thursday morning after being accused of raping one of his employees at his apartment at The Waverly on Central Boulevard.

He named off other high-profile people who have also been in jail.

"I remember when I was a janitor at Bally's, and I didn't have any of these problems," Khalilian said. "It's something I'll have to live with the rest of my life."

Investigators said it happened on Friday night after Khalilian agreed to give the employee a ride after work, saying that he didn't want her driving or riding with anyone who was drinking.

The woman said Khalilian held her against her will at his apartment and raped her.

"At some point, the suspect forced sexual contact with the victim. She left there, and at some point, she came to the Orlando Police Department to our information desk. She was obviously visibly distraught, according to the reporting officer," Orlando Police Department Sgt. Barbara Jones said. "This is an investigation. We have a victim that we believe is credible and we believe that our case is a strong case."

Khalilian's defense held a press conference on Wednesday evening, denying the charges. His attorney Mark Nejame said often people in the entertainment industry are the target of false allegations.

Some patrons from his nightclub said they're not sure if he's guilty.

"It could be either way. It could be that he did do it, or it could be that she consented to it and now is implying that it was not consensual," Carrie Clark said.

"It's kind of crazy to hear that about this nice club, but at the same time it's not going to stop me from coming here because it is a nice club to go to," Phillip Kyle said.

Police put out a warrant for Khalilian's initial arrest, and the SWAT team carried out a search warrant at his downtown apartment, but he was not there. He later surrendered to police.

Khalilian also owned the former Club Paris in downtown Orlando before the club name was changed to Dolce.

Khalilian was taken to the Orange County Jail on Thursday in connection with his second arrest.

Khalilian is being held on no bond and will be back in court Friday afternoon.