Good Samaritan Who Defended Woman From Groper Faces Lawsuit From Groper

| by Sean Kelly
article imagearticle image

A Tulsa, OK man who groped a woman at an event is suing the Good Samaritan who defended his victim.

Melissa Smith was working a professional bull-riding event when Leonel Olivarez came up behind her and groped her on the rear end.  The incident, which was caught by a surveillance camera, prompted Shane Vernon to approach Smith and ask if she knew the man who touched her. Upon learning that she did not, Vernon followed Olivarez to his seat and confronted him. He began to yell at the man, and that’s when things began to escalate.

“I grabbed his cigars and threw them into the arena, and I was still amped up, so I grabbed his cowboy hat and threw that into the arena,” Vernon told Tulsa’s KOTV.

Olivarez was charged with felony sexual battery.

Now, Leonel Olivarez is suing Vernon for assault and battery. The suit claims that Vernon “grabbed Olivarez's shoulder in an aggressive manner suggesting an imminent physical attack that was unjustified and designed to embarrass and humiliate Olivarez.”

Despite reportedly admitting to authorities that he groped Smith, Olivarez's lawsuit denies that the incident ever occurred. Police, however, said that in addition to admitting what happened and demonstrating how he did it, Olivarez wrote a letter of apology to Smith.

According to Olivarez’s attorney, he is facing up to 10 years in prison in addition to having to register as a sex offender. He allegedly does not have a prior record.

In response to Olivarez’s lawsuit, Vernon’s supporters have launched a GoFundMe campaign to help cover legal fees. Vernon said that he would donate any money that is not needed for his case to a local women’s shelter.

Source: KOTV / Photo Credit: