Kirk Vartanian Cleared of Domestic Violence Charges

September 22, 2009 6:43:29 PM PDT
A valley businessman is clear of domestic violence charges. The charges against Kirk Vartanian were dropped after the alleged victim refused to testify against him. We are not revealing the identity of the woman who once claimed Kirk Vartanian nearly smothered her to death. Vartanian's preliminary hearing was scheduled to move ahead, but the proceedings came to a halt when the alleged victim took the witness stand.

Judge Kristi Culver Kapetan looked directly at the alleged victim and ordered her to testify against Vartanian. She refused despite the judge threatening to hold her in contempt. Attorney Roger Nuttall represented the woman at the hearing. Nuttall said, "I'm rather convinced that she never thought that anything happened to her would engender this much attention."

Nuttall said his client never wanted to cooperate with prosecutors. Police arrested Vartanian in June- accusing him of holding a knife to the alleged victim's throat, slapping her and trying to smother her. The arrest happened while Vartanian tried to open a permanent night club at the failed Fresno development- Granite Park. At Tuesday's hearing, the judge dismissed 6 domestic violence charges after the alleged victim refused to testify. Dan Bacon represents Vartanian, " We are happy with that. We are happy with the outcome. There's no gloating here by anybody. It's a sad situation, but we are glad it is over.

Vartanian's legal troubles are far from over. In a separate, criminal case, he faces 16 grand theft charges. He's accused of ripping off customers who shopped at his high end car dealership. Vartanian returns to court this Thursday to deal with the grand theft case. He previously plead not guilty to those charges.

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