Paris Hilton's former partner in Orlando's Club Paris has been arrested on rape charges.
Fereidoun "Fred" Khalilian turned himself in to police Wednesday afternoon after the Orlando police SWAT team failed to find him during a raid of his home overlooking Lake Eola earlier in the day. (See photos of Paris Hilton and Khalilian at Club Paris.)
"We learned that there was a warrant for his arrest and immediately orchestrated his surrender," lawyer Mark NeJame said. "As anyone who knows the criminal-justice system, it takes little more than somebody making an accusation to get arrested. Of course, he's not guilty."
The charges of false imprisonment and sexual battery stem from early Friday when a woman contacted police, saying the 35-year-old nightclub owner had raped her in his home on East Central Boulevard, police Sgt. Barbara Jones said.
The woman told investigators she was attacked between 3:30 and 5:30 a.m. after leaving Khalilian's nightclub and going home with him, Jones said.
Khalilian drew national attention in 2004 when he and Hilton opened her pink-themed, eponymous nightclub at Church Street Station. The venture closed last summer and re-opened in September as Dolce Nightclub.
Wednesday's search for Khalilian began after the SWAT team failed to find him at home in the Waverly on Lake Eola Condominiums, where the woman said she was attacked.
Reached about 5 p.m. Thursday, Khalilian told the Orlando Sentinel that he was aware of the warrant and intended to surrender but did not want any publicity about his arrest.
At least 3rd accusation
The arrest is at least the third time that Khalilian has been accused of sexual misconduct or rape in Orlando, police records show. He previously stated that diplomatic immunity protected him from arrest and that he owned Orlando police by giving them off-duty jobs, records show.
"I'm a diplomat. You can't arrest me. I own Club Paris," a police report quoted Khalilian as telling Sgt. Rhonda Huckelbery, who was investigating a report by a passer-by that Khalilian tried to rape a woman outside the nightclub on Nov. 18, 2005. "You work for me."
The same report states that when Huckelbery told the nightclub owner she had never worked for him in any capacity, Khalilian threatened to get her fired so she "would see the way that real money makes things happen in this town."
The woman in the 2005 incident, who had been crying hysterically, turned out to be Khalilian's girlfriend at the time, Heather Dodt. The police report states that Khalilian was not arrested at the scene while police researched his legal status.
"We had to wait till morning to find out if he had diplomatic immunity, otherwise he would have been arrested on the spot," Huckelbery said Wednesday night. "He didn't have it, so we filed an at-large charge" -- misdemeanor battery.
Officers continue to receive subpoenas in the case, which has not gone to trial. Dodt later sought an order of protection against Khalilian, who sometimes went by the nickname, Prince Khalie, court records show.
The same month, a 21-year-old employee of Club Paris told police that Khalilian had invited her to his home six weeks earlier, saying he wanted to drop off one of his sports cars and drive another back to the nightclub. Once there, the woman said Khalilian pulled down her pants and had sex with her, a police report states.
"The victim said she definitely was not expecting it but at the same time she was scared to say anything," the report states. "The victim stated she still wanted to keep her job so she did not say anything."
The woman, a University of Central Florida student, made the accusation on Nov. 27, 2005, after she said Khalilian punched her twice in the face after keeping her at the nightclub after closing. "She said he tried to get her to stay and fall for his ways. He then fell asleep and the victim managed to get away and call her mother for a ride," the police report stated.
How the case was resolved could not be determined Wednesday.
In an earlier incident, a female patron at Club Paris attacked Khalilian after thinking he had sexually fondled her from behind as she and a dozen other women danced on the nightclub's stage. At the time, Khalilian and a disc jockey were the only men on the stage but the molester could not be identified, according to an April 10, 2005, police report.
Easy target, lawyer says
NeJame, who owns Tabu Nightclub on Orange Avenue in addition to practicing law for more than 20 years, says Khalilian is an easy target for false accusations.
"He is a bit flashy," NeJame said of the high-profile entrepreneur known for issuing press statements and driving around town in a neon-green Lamborghini. "Like the other cases we've been involved in, we'll work hard to get to the bottom of this one."
Records show Khalilian was born in Esfahan, Iran, on Christmas Day, 1971.
On his Web site, fredkhalilian.com, Khalilian describes himself as a multimillionaire Persian-American, who speaks English, Persian, German and Turkish. A certified personal trainer and martial artist, Khalilian has opened or announced plans to open nightclubs in Orlando, Jacksonville, South Beach and Las Vegas.
He was released from the Orange County Jail on Wednesday evening after posting $6,000 bond.
Source: Orlando Sentinel