A bar owner in Auburn has filed a suit against the city, claiming it improperly notified local residents of his registration status as a sex offender.

Pat Grider, who owns SkyBar Cafe in downtown Auburn according to WDHN, was convicted of misdemeanor sexual misconduct last May.

The allegations against Grider included groping an employee's breasts, putting another woman's underpants in her face and offering money to make out with him and let him perform oral sex, WDHN reported.

Grider also included in the lawsuit his female accuser and the Auburn police detective who investigated the case, and he plans to appeal his conviction.

While waiting for a new trial, which was supposed to happen in March, Grider registered with the city as a convicted sex offender to avoid any further legal trouble.

"He is not a sex offender," Grider's attorney Davis Whittelsey, said. "But he did, out of an abundance of caution, register with the City of Auburn as if he were a convicted sex offender because if you are wrong in the interpretation of the law he is subject to the prosecution of a felony."

Grider argued the city and the Auburn Police Department wrongfully issued a public notice about his status as a registered sex offender, which he said is not required for sexual misconduct.

Grider claimed the notice — which included his name, physical description and picture — hurt his reputation and caused him to receive threats. He's asking for compensatory damages and a public retraction of the statement.

Whittelsey said he didn't think such a public statement would be released with Grider's appeal in front of a jury happening soon. He believes it may have been done to affect the outcome of the appeal.

"When we say Pat registered, we say he signed a booklet that said he had been convicted in a municipal court but the conviction was on appeal and we did it under the belief Auburn Police Department, of all people, would follow the law and would not send out a publication listing an innocent man as a registered sex offender two weeks before a jury trial," he said. "It was done in an obvious effort to taint the jury."

Grider's jury trial regarding the sexual misconduct conviction is scheduled to be held in June at the Lee County Justice Center.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email daniel.taylor@1819news.com.

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