Full Circle Studios was contracted to edit and color correct video in a lawsuit to provide justice for the defendant.
With his reputation and freedom on the line, the co-owner of a popular West Chippewa Street restaurant Monday counted on a surveillance tape to exonerate him.
Prosecutors saw enough: They dropped a misdemeanor forcible touching charge that had been lodged against Tri Quamy Lam, co-owner of Papaya, a restaurant that features Thai, Vietnamese and other Asian food.
City Judge James A. W. McLeod dismissed the case.
“I’m just happy justice is served,” Lam said.
Thomas J. Eoannou, Lam’s attorney, said the surveillance video exonerated him.
The section of the bar where his accuser said the incident occurred was dark, so Eoannou had a video company lighten up the footage.
“We were able to show she was lying, and the case was dismissed,” Eoannou said.
The 37-year-old restaurateur was accused of touching the woman’s breasts and buttocks against her will. Eoannou previously identified her as a bartender Lam had fired.
Lam was released on an appearance ticket after his arrest in May, but the months that followed were difficult.
He suffered a stroke after the arrest and spent seven days in an intensive care unit.
Lam said the stress over the arrest caused the stroke.
“I strongly believe that,” he said. “It was very stressful for me from the beginning. And business was also lost because of it.”
As Lam recuperated, his partner worked to keep the restaurant open.
His accuser was motivated by money, Lam said.
“It was all about money,” he said. “Her civil lawyer asked us for money from the beginning.”
Lam would have faced a year in jail if convicted, and his reputation and business could have been ruined.
Lam said he felt immense relief after the criminal charge was dismissed.
“Oh, my God,” he said. “Finally, yes.”