The son of a well-known car dealer is charged with sexually assaulting a woman at a West Palm Beach hotel in August. Edward W. Napleton, Jr., was in court Monday morning. He pleaded not guilty and denied any wrongdoing
Edward W. Napleton, Jr. heir to a Chicago area auto dealer group with dealerships in the Chicago area, West Palm Beach area, and Orlando area is accused of having sex with an unconscious woman in a hotel room at the Marriott, 1001 Okeechobee Boulevard in West Palm Beach. Edward Napleton, Jr. denies the charges, and pleaded not-guilty Monday.
Edward Napleton Jr., age 39, a part-owner, who with his family owns Napleton Auto Group, appeared in court on Monday, February 4, 2019. He is charged with sexual battery of a helpless person — an incident that allegedly occurred after midnight on Wednesday, August 8, 2018.
The female victim said she was in town for work, staying at the Marriott on Okeechobee Boulevard. She told investigators “she had a couple of glasses of wine at a local restaurant then woke up naked in a bed in a hotel room.”
According to a police report, a surveillance video from the West Palm Beach hotel showed a woman falling to the floor outside her hotel room.
Marriott hotel staff returned her to her room, but West Palm Beach police say that about an hour later, Edward W. Napleton, Jr. entered the room and stayed in the room for about six hours, leaving the room at 7:33 a.m.
Police records indicate that surveillance recorded the woman with Edward W. Napleton and another man in the early morning hours on August 8, 2018. The Palm Beach Post reports that the second man is a Napleton manager from the Orlando area. The police report identifies the second man as Dee Grinnell. Police said the Napleton manager had paid for the hotel room for the woman, but police did not know the nature of her relationship to the men, according to The Palm Beach Post.
Surveillance video recorded the woman stumbling and falling down. The male subject, identified as the Napleton manager, dragged her by her feet into the hotel room about 12:08 a.m. Both men left 30 seconds later, according to The Palm Beach Post.
Surveillance video recorded the woman leave her hotel room about 12:30 a.m., and then collapsing in the hallway, and lying unconscious on the floor. Hotel staff told police they put her in a wheelchair because she was unresponsive. The Napleton manager directed hotel staff to her hotel room, where she was left unattended. The victim still appeared to be in an unconscious state, according to the police report.
About 1:30 a.m., video recorded hotel staff giving the Napleton manager a key to the woman’s room. The Napleton manager then handed the key to Edward Napleton, Jr., who entered the room. Edward Napleton, Jr. is seen leaving the room about 7:30 a.m., according to The Palm Beach Post report.
Forensic tests, utilizing a rape kit, showed Napleton’s DNA was found on the victim’s body.
Edward Napleton Jr.’s defense attorney Richard Lubin said his client and the victim knew each other, and his client strongly denies the charges against him.
“Mr. Napleton vehemently denies his guilt in this case. He’s voluntarily surrendered. He’s known since August about this investigation. We’ve interviewed many witnesses who are favorable to the defense in this case.”
— Richard Lubin, Defense Attorney Edward Napleton Jr.
The Napleton Auto Group says it fully supports Ed Napleton and that he did nothing wrong. In a statement, The Napleton Auto Group said: “Our company has strict policies and procedures in place to protect the safety and well-being of all employees. In this case, no policy or law was violated. We fully support Eddie as he fights to clear his name in court and trust that justice will prevail.”
Napleton was released on bond that was set at $50,000. He is free to leave the West Palm Beach area.
The Napleton Group has successful dealerships in Arlington Heights that sell Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Subaru, and Mazda vehicles. The Subaru and Mazda dealerships are set to move to Palatine.
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