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Owner, former owner of Mart liquor store sued by teen in alleged sexual assault

Accuser, now 18, is seeking unspecified damages
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Published: May. 13, 2022 at 4:41 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The owner and former owner of a liquor store in Mart are being sued by a teenager who alleges the two men groomed him for “sexual advances” before one sexually assaulted him last year.

The teen, now 18 and identified in the lawsuit only as “John Doe,” is seeking unspecified damages against Braeborne Behrghundi and Kollin Behrghundi and their business, Firewater Liquor Store in Mart.

The lawsuit, filed in Waco’s 170th State District Court by Waco attorneys Jim Dunnam and Mason Dunnam, alleges the Behrghundis owned and operated the liquor Store at the time of the alleged assaults and maintained a residence at the store.

The men met John Doe in 2020 and “thereafter began grooming plaintiff for sexual advances and ultimately assault,” according to the lawsuit.

“Ultimately, Braeborne sexually assaulted Doe repeatedly throughout January and February 2021, a time during which plaintiff was a minor. Kollin was aware of Braeborne’s intentions toward plaintiff and aware of the assaults, and failed to protect plaintiff and failed to report the assaults.”

Braeborne Behrghundi, 56, was indicted in June 2021 on a second-degree felony charge of sexual performance by a child in the alleged assaults of the teen. He has a tentative trial date set for Aug. 8 in Waco’s 54th State District Court.

Braeborne Behrghundi’s attorney, Robert Stem, denied the allegations in the criminal case.

“While I do not represent Mr. Behrghundi in his civil suit and will not comment on that, I can say that we maintain that the criminal allegations against him are outrageous and 100% completely false,” Stem said.

Waco attorney David Schleicher, who represents Kollin Behrghundi in the civil suit, said in a statement that his client takes the sexual misconduct claims against Braeborne Behrghundi “very seriously and believe accusers should be fully heard in such circumstances.”

“However, Kollin and Braeborne are divorced, Braeborne does not own the store, and Kollin can remember only one very brief conversation he had with the person he is guessing is the named ‘John Doe.’ So Kollin is puzzled and disappointed by the accuser’s decision to drag Kollin and the store into this suit and they look forward to being dismissed from it,” Schleicheer said.

“There is no valid ‘guilt by association’ concept under Texas law. Nonetheless, to avoid any appearance of impropriety, Kollin has asked Braeborne not to come into the store, nor even to provide advice on how to run it, until Braeborne and John Doe have had a chance to fully resolve the lawsuit. In the meantime, Kollin and Firewater will continue to serve their customers in a professional, safe, and transparent manner, trusting that justice will be done as all the facts come out,” he said.

The suit alleges the teen suffered physical injury, mental anguish, pain and suffering.

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