Attorney Brad Koffel of Koffel Brininger Nesbitt in Columbus has successfully negotiated the early release of his client, a BP gas station owner who pled guilty to third-degree felony attempted abduction and fourth-degree felony bribery. Mr. Rizwan Lahuti was originally sentenced to 18 months in prison but has been released only 6 months into the sentence. With Attorney Koffel’s representation and legal guidance, Lahuti requested a judicial release to the Muskingum County Court of Common Pleas, which was accepted. He is now under community control for three years instead.
During the hearing, Attorney Koffel showed the court that Lahuti used as many character improvement programs as he could while in Belmont Correctional Institution. He was also known for his cooperative behavior while incarcerated, including an incident in which he notified a guard that another prisoner was smoking in their cell. Lahuti’s actions prior to conviction were also underlined during the hearing. As the owner of two BP gas stations, he not only helps provide employment opportunities for dozens of locals, but he also uses his businesses to donate to local charitable groups.
Details of the Hotel Abduction & Bribery Case
In April 2018, Lahuti had apparently brought one of his employees – an 18-year old woman – to a hotel. The woman claimed she felt as if she could not leave the hotel. Although, she was able to leave the property without incident later.
According to the woman’s parents, Lahuti attempted to bribe them to ensure they would not cooperate with investigating authorities. After some back-and-forth, the parents accepted the bribe, but investigators had already found enough potential evidence to warrant charges. Ultimately, the woman’s mother was sentenced to community control and the father was sentenced to two years imprisonment for accepting a bribe in interference with law enforcement activities.
Lahuti was originally charged with felony rape, felony sexual assault, and felony kidnapping in addition to the bribery charge. Through the successful representation of his defense attorney, the more severe charges were defeated, and a plea deal was accepted, in which he pled guilty to attempted abduction and bribery for the reduced 18-month sentencing.
Judge Kelly Cottrill has approved the reduced sentencing, limiting Lahuti’s time in prison to just 33% of the original amount. She noted that he had “accepted responsibility” for his actions and did not pose a criminal threat to his communities.
For more information about this story, you can click here to view a full article from Y-City News. If you need help with a criminal defense case in Ohio of your own, be it a felony or misdemeanor case, call (614) 675-4845 and connect with Koffel Brininger Nesbitt today.