Jail Time For Former Bar Manager In Assault Case

The former manager of a local bar who was accused of inappropriately touching female staff members is headed to jail. 

John Thompson, once the manager of the Old Market Local Beer and Patio, faced a dozen misdemeanor charges, including third degree assault along with third degree sexual assault.  Thompson made a deal in November pleading guilty to four counts of third degree assault.

Douglas County Court Judge Stephanie Hansen sentenced Thompson to 30 days in jail and 24 months of probation along with 20 hours of community service.

City Prosecutor Matthew Kuhse says "these cases are always difficult in terms of what sort of sentence is appropriate because there’s so much balancing that the court has to do when imposing a sentence, particularly in a case like this, but I think the sentence the court imposed was fair and appropriate.”

At least six employees who worked for Thompson had filed sexual assault reports with Omaha police but when Thompson arrived to court Thursday he faced only three misdemeanor charges – the result of the plea bargain.  Thompson’s attorney, James Martin Davis, told 6 News his client was under a lot of pressure at his job.

“The staff, the kind of people that he employed, they’d come in late, they left early, they’re on the phone all the time, they’d call in sick. He wanted to motivate them. Obviously he was motivating them the wrong way.”

Thompson did not face a jury in the case. One of his victims upset with that fact and with the 30 day sentence offered a statement reading, in part, “John Thompson’s crimes were worthy of harsher punishment. I want it to be heard that regardless of the industry one works in, it will not be tolerated to sexually harass one’s female employees as Mr. Thompson certainly did.”

(Photo: 6 News)

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