California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, First Division
from a judgment of the Superior Court of Riverside County,
No. SWF1200303, Angel M. Bermudez, Judge.
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
A. Brody, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for
Defendant and Appellant.
D. Harris, Attorney General, Gerald A. Engler, Chief
Assistant Attorney General, Julie L. Garland, Assistant
Attorney General, Peter Quon, Jr., and Anthony DaSilva,
Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.
by Benke, Acting P. J., with McDonald and O'Rourke, JJ.,
Cal.Rptr.3d 174] BENKE, Acting P. J.
imprisonment that involves no more in the way of force or
menace than is needed to restrain the victim is a
misdemeanor. Felony or aggravated false imprisonment requires
proof of force greater than is needed to restrain the victim.
Here, the evidence showed defendant Mouris M. Ghipriel, who
weighs 240 pounds, kept one of his employees, who weighs
approximately 100 pounds, in a very small office and sexually
assaulted her. We reject Ghipriel's contention this
record does not support his three felony false imprisonment
convictions. We also reject Ghipriel's contention the
trial court erred in admitting testimony from the victim with
respect to his attempt to digitally penetrate her.
we affirm Ghipriel's convictions.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Doe's Employment at Ghipriel's
March 2011, Jane Doe was 19 years old and had just graduated
from high school. Doe was five feet tall and weighed 100
pounds. At that point in time, Doe began working for Ghipriel
at a steak house he owned and operated in Hemet, California.
Ghipriel was 54 years old, five feet eight inches tall, and
weighed 240 pounds.
began working as a dishwasher at Ghipriel's restaurant.
While washing dishes, Ghipriel would occasionally rub
Doe's shoulders or walk by and grab her by her hip. In
May 2011, Doe was promoted from dishwashing to a position as
a hostess, where she stood behind a small podium. On one
occasion while Doe was standing at the podium, Ghipriel
walked up behind her, put his hand under her V-neck shirt,
reached across her chest and grabbed her left breast. Doe
ducked down so that she could get Ghipriel's hand out of
her shirt, told Ghipriel to stop and walked away.
the next several weeks, Ghipriel made a continuing series of
sexually suggestive advances, of varying levels of [205
Cal.Rptr.3d 175] crudeness, on Doe. As Ghipriel would walk by
Doe at the podium when she was bending down to wipe menus or
a counter, he would graze her buttocks with his hand; he
would do the same as she was standing at different places in
the restaurant. In response, Doe would give Ghipriel a dirty
look and tell him to stop. On another occasion, after
discussing his plan to convert part of the restaurant to a
hookah bar and have Doe manage it, Ghipriel went to the bar,
had some drinks, came back to the hostess podium and kissed
the corner of Doe's mouth, leaving saliva on it.
Doe asked to be promoted to a server's position where she
could earn tips, Ghipriel told her she would have " to
do stuff" with him, which she interpreted as sex acts.
By way of hand gestures on one occasion and later by way of
an express request, Ghipriel asked Doe to perform oral sex on
False Imprisonment ...