"Where's Ray Shafazand?" asks a reader following the case of Los Gatos resident Gholam Reza "Ray" Shafazand, charged with one count of rape by force from an incident that allegedly happened at his 17203 Deer Park Road home in early January of 2012.
The former owner of two San Jose nightclubs is set to stand trial May 6, said Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Luis Ramos.
Last fall, Superior Court Judge Jerome Nadler ruled that there was enough evidence to try Shafazand, who was being represented at the time by San Jose criminal defense attorney Anthony Pagkas.
Sources close to Shafazand, who declined to be identified, say he's now living in Pattaya, Thailand, where he owns Winchester Club Pattaya, a bar. Shafazand's Facebook page shows an image of the club and a picture of him and an unidentified girl.
Shafazand's Thai club's announcement was posted on Dec. 22, 2012 on the Pattaya People Media Group Facebook page. It read: "The new Winchester Club has reopened!!!!"
The well-known San Jose nightclub operator is accused of having committed the crime between Jan. 7 and 8, 2012, having sexual intercourse with the victim, who was not his spouse, and who claims the act was performed by means of force, violence, duress, menace and fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury, according to the felony complaint.
He was arraigned on the charges Jan. 24, 2012.
His attorney, Anthony Pagkas has not returned several calls and emails seeking comment.
The crime is said to have occurred following an evening at San Jose's nightclub Myth Taverna & Lounge, which Shafazand used to own, along with the Sabor Tapas Bar & Lounge nightclub, also in San Jose, which is now closed.
Myth Taverna & Lounge is now owned by Tammy Pagkas and three other partners, said a woman who answered the phone at the bar Thursday. "He didn't leave with the best terms," the woman said. "We have no contact with him."
Free after posting $100,000 bail, he was arrested by Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police at his residence on Jan. 8, 2012. If found guilty, he faces a maximum sentence of eight years in state prison.
Shafazand had been vying to operate Dasha's Restaurant and Lounge in the Gaslighter Theater, but the Campbell City Council denied a conditional-use permit on Jan. 3, 2012 that would have allowed the business to serve alcohol past midnight. The Campbell Planning Commission had also denied the permit on Oct. 25, 2012 due to an alcohol ordinance that prohibits downtown businesses from serving alcohol past midnight.