Oakdale tobacco shop owner convicted of sexual assault in 2017 at a business

November 2 – Hatem Younis, owner of Super Smokedale Tobacco in Oakdale, was charged almost four years ago with third degree criminal sexual conduct for assaulting a woman in his company’s warehouse.

A Washington County jury found him guilty on Friday.

Washington County District Court Judge Ellen Maas ordered Younis, 50, of Afton, to be taken into custody immediately after the verdict was announced. Younis, who faces up to 15 years in prison and a $ 30,000 fine, is expected to be sentenced on December 8.

According to the criminal complaint, a 34-year-old woman arrived in Smokedale around midnight on November 22, 2017 to purchase cigarettes. She had already applied for a job at the store. He asked her if she wanted to start working that evening and help price the items. “(The woman) thought to herself that although it was strange to start a job at midnight, given that her children were not in her care that evening and that she needed the money for Christmas. , it made sense to work, ”the complaint said.

She followed him in his car to a warehouse at the back of the building. After working for about 20 minutes, Younis started to touch her.

He allegedly started to touch his lips and chest over his sweatshirt, then lifted his shirt. The woman started to cry and said “Please, no,” the complaint reads. “The accused then slapped her hand and told her to be a good girl.” He then raped her, according to the complaint.

“The defendant then sat down at his desk and continued to work,” says the complaint. “(She) was stunned and didn’t know what to do. She sat on the floor and did as she was told. The accused then threw money at her and told her he would see at noon the next day. “

The next day, she told her father. Her father called the police and the woman was taken to hospital, where a sexual assault examination was performed.

“The fraction of sperm located on the cervical swab matched the DNA of the accused and should not occur more than once among unrelated individuals in the global population,” says the complaint.

During the first day of testimony at last week’s trial, the woman was at the stand from 9:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., Washington County Assistant District Attorney Tom Wedes, who continued the case, said.

“She was amazing,” he said. “I’m so glad the jury got to hear her voice. The strength she showed in her testimony was just amazing.”

Wedes said it took nearly four years for the case to come to trial due to delays due to COVID and because Younis “kept changing lawyers.”

Younis also faces a fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct charge in Washington County in connection with an alleged assault at his business on December 10, 2020, prosecutors said.

In this case, a woman said she traveled to Smokedale as a client, according to the criminal complaint. Younis told the woman “if she helped him he would give her one of the items for free,” the complaint says. “She agreed to help and followed the accused out of the store and got into his truck and he drove them to the back of the store where the warehouse was.”

Younis allegedly touched the woman, even though she repeatedly said “no” and walked away from him. She was able to free herself and ran to the warehouse door. He “got angry and said ‘Alright, let’s go. All right, we’re done. ‘”

In a statement to police a week later, Younis denied touching the woman, according to the complaint.

A scheduling hearing on this case is on December 8.

In 2018, Younis, who also owns Super Smokedale Tobacco retail stores in Anoka, Minneapolis and Big Lake, Minn., Was indicted by the Washington County District Court with 43 tax offenses.

Younis allegedly under-reported tobacco sales and knowingly filed false sales tax returns and underpaid the amount of sales tax that was actually owed, according to the criminal complaint. Younis escaped payment of $ 918,362 in sales tax between April 2011 and December 2016, not including interest and penalties, the complaint says. A preliminary hearing in this case is set for January 7.

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