An employee providing service for Dish Network has been charged with two felonies after giving a hug to a woman as he was leaving her home.
At the beginning of April, 70-year-old Karen Loest was visited by a third-party technician associated with Dish Network satellite tv company who fulfilled a work order at her home.
During the time that the tech, 34-year-old David Novinski, was inside the residence, Loest said that he seemed professional and gave her no indication that she had anything to worry about in his presence.
After the job was finished, Loest was showing Novinski out and she reported that the man unexpectedly embraced her in a “bear-hug.” She said that her arms were in an uncomfortable position in front of her, and when he gave her the hug it caused her physical discomfort.
Loest, a retired sheriff’s deputy, said that she shoved Novinski and asked him to leave because she had become fearful that he might rape or physically harm her after the hug.
It was alleged that Novinski paused for a moment, and then spent a bit of time issuing an apology to the woman before he departed.
The following afternoon, Novinski was picked up by the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office and booked into the jail for suspicion of causing bodily injury to an at-risk adult, which is a felony due to the age of the alleged victim. He is also facing a felony charge of first-degree criminal trespassing. A judge granted a restraining order to ensure that Novinski keeps a legally enforced distance from the plaintiff, who said that she is physically fine, but has suffered from sleep disturbances due to feeling fearful since the allegedly scary squeeze took place.
A call to Dish Network was placed by Loest to inform them of the incident that occurred with Novinski during the service. While retelling the details of the event from her perspective, it was reported that she did not disclose having been physically injured in any way as a result of the incident.
Novinski’s attorney released a statement regarding his client’s charges and expressed his disbelief that the DA would want to prosecute someone for hugging. He said that despite the lack of reported injuries from the alleged victim to the company, and the lack of a proper investigation into the claims, Novinski, who he learned has a habit of hugging customers after doing technical work for them, has also found himself jobless due to the accusation.
The lawyer additionally added his intention to stand with Novinski and aggressively defend his client’s innocence regarding the charges.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a crime, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.