Case against former hotel manager is dismissed

By Gus Bode

Desai originally charged with sexual assault, battery

The trial against a former Carbondale hotel owner charged with beating and sexually assaulting a female patron more than a year ago was dismissed early this month.

Jackson County State’s Attorney Michael Wepsiec said the case against Vishant Desai, the former owner and manager of Horizon Inn and Conference Center at 800 E. Main St., was dismissed at the request of the victim within the last two weeks.


Wepsiec said he could not comment any further on the case.

Desai was originally charged with two felony counts of criminal sexual assault and one misdemeanor count of battery stemming from a February 2003 incident involving a then 22-year-old female patron of the hotel’s bar.

Desai was accused of forcing sexual acts on the woman and grabbing her by the shoulders and throwing her onto a hotel bed between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Feb. 16, 2003. Criminal sexual assault carries a jail sentence of up to 15 years and battery carries a sentence of up to one year.

The case was initially opened on June 23, 2003 and Desai had been free on bond shortly after that. The trial was originally delayed to allow DNA testing and Wepsiec previously said Desai’s decision to retain counsel from out of state also caused delay.

Desai made his first appearance at the Jackson County Courthouse in Murphysboro in July 2003 and his most recent appearance was in August of this year. A jury pretrial was scheduled for Tuesday, but will not take place because the case was officially closed on Nov. 3.