Friday, November 11, 2011

Man accused of orchestrating false Bartlett rape report held for grand jury action

A man accused of orchestrating a false attempted rape claim against a Bartlett businessman was ordered held for the action of a Shelby County grand jury after a preliminary hearing Monday afternoon.

Khaled Eleiwa, 34, remained free on $35,000 bond after the hearing before Bartlett Municipal Court Judge Dan Brown.

Eleiwa is charged with extortion, harassment, intimidation and criminal conspiracy regarding a false police report in conjunction with a Memphis woman claiming Maher Garada, a 50-year-old Egyptian native, tried to rape her on Sept. 28.

In a preliminary hearing stymied by a language barrier and featuring a few testy exchanges between defense attorney Leslie Ballin and witnesses, the woman who falsely accused Garada of trying to assault her, acknowledged she lied in reporting the case. She testified against Eleiwa, saying he orchestrated the bogus report.

But at times, Angela Poindexter's testimony was as confusing as Garada's.

Prosecutor David Lakindeclined comment after the hearing.

Poindexter, 22, of Memphis, showed up at Bartlett police headquarters on Sept. 28, saying Garada tried to assault her while she was at his house watching a movie.

Later, she recanted the story, leading to Garada's release after spending six days in jail.

That led to Angela Poindexter being charged with filing the false report, and her sister, Antoinette, also being charged in the case because she drove her to headquarters and was allegedly part of the planning. Soon after, Eleiwa's charges were added as Angela Poindexter said he was responsible for planning the accusation.

Garada testified Monday afternoon he had received a threatening telephone call from Eleiwa about a dispute over money hours before Angela Poindexter's accusation. Garada said Eleiwa told him he would make Garada and his family "cry blood" if Garada didn't settle the financial dispute -- that stemmed from claims against Garada's son -- by 9 p.m. that day.

Within a short time of the deadline, Poindexter was at headquarters filing the report against Garada.

Poindexter testified she and her sister met with Eleiwa at Starbucks to plan the accusation, the sisters even following Eleiwa as they passed Garada's house so she could have the address and details about the location.

Poindexter, who was testifying against the advice of Bill Whitsitt, the public defender who has represented her, said she was scared of Eleiwa, but acknowledged she had filed the false report.