LC courthouse

A jury entered deliberations late Thursday afternoon in the sex crimes trial of an Albany motel owner and manager.

Dineshkumar Patel, who operates the Budget Inn at 2727 Pacific Blvd. SE, is accused of three counts of first-degree sex abuse.

His 12-member jury trial, scheduled for three days, began on Tuesday.

During closing statements on Thursday afternoon, prosecutor Keith Stein discussed the he-said, they-said nature of the case.

“This is a case about credibility and being able to determine who lied to you yesterday and today and who did not,” Stein told the jury.

“This guy lied to you. He took the stand and then lied to you,” he added.

The three female accusers did not know each other. After a sexual abuse allegation occurred in 2017, an accuser from 2012 came forward and a 2015 case resurfaced.

Stein stressed the links between the cases — such as how Patel reportedly blocked the women from leaving rooms before giving them massages and then groping them — and said that Patel preyed on vulnerable women, such as those with substance abuse issues or traveling alone.

Register for more free articles
Stay logged in to skip the surveys

He added that in the 2012 case, the accuser and two of her family members identified Patel with certainty in a photo lineup years later. “I can’t think of stronger evidence to convince you,” he said.

Defense attorney Thomas Hill questioned whether the trio saw Patel’s booking photo online after reading newspaper accounts of the 2017 allegation.

But he added that his client had an alibi. “He was in Michigan at the time,” Hill said.

Hill also said that the police didn’t show the trio a photo of another Indian man who managed the hotel in 2012.

“The prosecution says there’s three women hoping the accumulation of claims will sway you,” he said.

Hill attacked the credibility of the women who accused Patel, including the victim in the 2017 case, Hayley Crawford of Aumsville, who has filed a $500,000 lawsuit against Patel and Budget Inn.

Another of the women couldn’t remember details about the case, Hill said.

In a separate case, Patel is accused of three counts of second-degree encouraging child sex abuse. A trial in that child pornography case, initially scheduled for Thursday, has been postponed.

Get local news delivered to your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Kyle Odegard can be contacted at 541-812-6077 or kyle.odegard@lee.net.