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D.A. Decides Not to Charge Rob Pilatus of Milli Vanilli

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Citing insufficient evidence, prosecutors refused to file sexual battery charges Wednesday against Rob Pilatus of the lip-syncing, scandal-ridden pop duo Milli Vanilli.

“It’s not that I question her credibility,” Deputy Dist. Atty. Lynn Reed said after interviewing the 25-year-old woman involved. “But the conduct described did not rise to the level of a sexual assault or battery that we could successfully prosecute.”

Under state law, sexual battery is the touching of a person’s private parts while he or she is restrained, against his or her will, for sexual arousal, excluding rape. Reed declined to specify what the woman claimed Pilatus had done, but his attorney said no bondage was alleged.

The woman, whose name was not released, had met Pilatus on Monday night at the China Club, a Hollywood nightspot, and later went home with the star, his partner and another friend. The couple were “moving toward a romantic encounter of some sort,” said Mike Botula, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office, when the woman decided to leave.

Pilatus, 24, was arrested just before dawn Tuesday when Los Angeles police responded to a 911 emergency telephone call from a taxi dispatcher who heard arguing and shouting in the background when someone at the pop star’s Bel-Air home called for a cab.

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He was released later that day after posting $10,000 bail and paying nearly $500 for outstanding traffic violations.

“There was ‘probable cause’ for arresting him on suspicion of a felony based on what the woman told the officer,” said Lt. Ron Hall, commanding officer of the West Los Angeles detectives unit. “But the district attorney felt there was not enough evidence to get a conviction. It was a one-on-one situation, with no corroborating evidence.”

Hall said it is unlikely the case will be referred to the city attorney for prosecution as a misdemeanor.

“This is not his month,” said Pilatus’ attorney, Erroll Stambler. He was referring to Pilatus being stripped of the 1989 Grammy Award won with partner Fab Morvan for the best-selling album “Girl You Know It’s True,” after the two admitted that they had not sung a note on the album or at any of their “live” performances.

It turns out that they also misled fans with their catchy name: Milli Vanilli doesn’t mean “positive energy"--or anything--in Turkish, as they had once claimed.

“It’s unfortunate for him, with the recent publicity, that this has come about,” Stambler said. “He’s not at fault. He has done absolutely nothing wrong.”

Milli Vanilli Question Are the lip-syncers an example of technology gone wild or the pioneers of a new era? F1


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