Smoke shop sex assault suspect sentenced in Nevada County Superior Court |

Smoke shop sex assault suspect sentenced in Nevada County Superior Court

A man arrested after two women complained he touched them at his Combie Road smoke shop was sentenced Friday in Nevada County Superior Court to 240 days in custody and three years’ probation.

Ranjit Singh, 63, must register as a sex offender and cannot apply for alternative sentencing, Judge Thomas Anderson ruled.

Singh was arrested in June 2019 after two incidents on consecutive days. During a preliminary hearing into the evidence, Nevada County sheriff’s deputies testified the woman in the first incident punched Singh after he offered her alcohol and then touched her breast. A day later, a different woman told authorities Singh offered her alcohol and pushed her into a back room, where he touched her over her clothes, wrapped his arms around her and tried to kiss her. That woman fled when another customer distracted him.

Singh pleaded no contest in July to charges of false imprisonment by violence, a felony; and misdemeanor sexual battery. A third charge of assault in order to commit a felony was dismissed with a Harvey waiver, meaning the judge could still consider that dismissed charge during sentencing.

Singh’s defense attorney, Barry Zimmerman, acknowledged that his client was known to offer alcohol to female patrons, but asked Anderson to allow home detention due to COVID-19 and health concerns. While Anderson did acknowledge Singh’s health issues, he did not allow him to apply for alternative sentencing and set a date of Feb. 12 for him to begin his jail sentence.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4236.

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