Former West York-area diner owner now a Megan's Law offender
The former co-owner of a West York-area diner has avoided prison for indecently assaulting a waitress against her will, but he must register as a Megan's Law sex offender for 15 years, according to a prosecutor.
On Monday Merzk "Mark" Hasaballa was sentenced to 18 months of probation with sexual-offender conditions, which have stringent requirements, according to deputy prosecutor Diana Spurlin.
Conditions include sex-offender counseling and treatment, Spurlin said.
He also must register with the state as a Megan's Law sex offender for 15 years and have no contact with the victim in the case, according to Spurlin.
Hasaballa, 40, of North Seward Street in West York, pleaded guilty in April to one count of indecent assault for the Jan. 15, 2014, incident outside the West Manchester Diner, 903 Carlisle Road in West Manchester Township. At the time, he was part owner of the diner.
Hasaballa stopped being affiliated with the diner in October when he and owner Tom Tobia severed their business ties, according to Tobia.
Hasaballa's indecent assault on one of their waitresses was a main reason he insisted he and Hasaballa go their separate ways, his former business partner has said.
"I told him, 'This is not the way we run a business,'" Tobia told The York Dispatch in April.
The case: West Manchester Township Police said they were contacted by one of the diner's servers, who reported that about 7:45 p.m., she asked Hasaballa for permission to go outside and smoke a cigarette, which he granted.
By the time the then-24-year-old woman grabbed her pack of cigarettes and walked outside, Hasaballa was already sitting on a bench outside, according to police. He invited her to sit down, police said.
That's when Hasaballa grabbed her around the waist, pulled her toward him and said, "You have a beautiful a—," court documents state.
Sat on bench: The waitress was able to partially pull away from him and ended up sitting on the bench next to him, police said.
That's when she realized Hasaballa had pulled out his penis, rubbed it against her buttocks and ejaculated, documents state.
The waitress immediately stood up, went back inside long enough to grab her coat and left, according to police, who said she went home, told her parents what happened and called 911.
Hasaballa denied the encounter when questioned by police, but a DNA test later confirmed he had left semen on the waitress' pants, according to documents.
His defense attorney, Roger Laguna Jr., declined comment on Monday.
Spurlin said Hasaballa's victim was in agreement with the sentence and did not attend Monday's hearing.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org.