Air Force Colonel Sentenced for Sexual Imposition

DAYTON -- An Air Force colonel on Tuesday was sentenced to a suspended 60-day jail sentence after a jury found him guilty of a criminal misdemeanor charge of sexual imposition involving a woman at a festival in Carillon Park.

Col. Mayan Shah, a 49-year-old research analyst at Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, was chided by Dayton Municipal Court Judge Christopher D. Roberts.

Roberts told Shah: "I have zero respect and tolerance for the conduct which resulted in the charges found against you here today." Roberts noted that Shah did not receive one letter of support in his pre-sentence investigation file.

Roberts also put Shah on 180 days home detention, sentenced him to three years' probation, classified Shah as a Tier I sex offender and ordered him to pay $250 in court costs and stay away from bars, nightclubs and festivals. A probation officer reported that Shah was "emotionless and un-remorseful" about the situation.

Defense attorney Jon Paul Rion -- hired after the verdict -- said Shah has submitted his retirement papers to the Air Force and that his client will pay financially for the rest of his life.

"We will be appealing this verdict," Rion said. "Col. Shah has maintained his innocence throughout this entire trial... . Col. Shah has no direct recollection of causing any injury to any person."

Shah told Roberts that he apologizes "for all that's happened."

A jury of six women and two men spent less than two hours deliberating June 6 before returning the verdict against the 23-year-military career officer who his first attorney said had an "unblemished" record. Richard S. Skelton, Shah's defense attorney during the trial, said his client had no intention to harm anyone nor give the military "a black eye."

Shah testified he had been drinking ale during AleFest at the park and had no memory of the sexual misconduct courtroom witnesses accused him of at the event last August. He also testified he did not recall meeting any of the women or doing anything harmful to them.

AFMC spokesman Ron Fry wrote in an email the service has "zero tolerance" of sexual misconduct, but he could not comment on any potential administrative actions because of federal privacy laws.

An alleged victim testified she was standing in front of a large tree with two other friends in a parking lot at Carillon Park when a man they did not know approached them from behind while they posed for a photo. The three women worked at an area brew pub and had volunteered to work at the festival, they testified.

Shah lifted one of the women's skirt, who yelled at him to stop, she testified. Shah then put his hand up a second woman's skirt and touched her in a sexually inappropriate way, the victim testified in court.

"I was in shock," she said, in sometimes emotional testimony. "I just really felt violated."

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