Edward W. Napleton of Hinsdale, whose family owns the Napleton Auto Group with numerous dealerships in suburban Chicago and other states, is scheduled to appear in court March 3 in Palm Beach County, Florida on charges of sexual battery to a helpless person over the age of 18.

The 39-year-old Napleton is accused of sexually accosting an unconscious woman in a Marriott hotel in West Palm Beach, Florida on Aug. 8.

In court Monday, Napleton’s attorney Richard Lubin said Napleton vehemently denies his guilt.

The woman told the West Palm Beach police she was in the city for a work function and had a couple of glasses of wine at a local restaurant. She then woke up naked in a hotel room and could not recall what had happened in the time between, according to the arrest report.

The woman was adamant she would not have let anyone in the room and would not have consented to have sex with anyone other than her boyfriend, the report stated.

Subsequent lab tests found Napleton’s DNA on the woman’s body, police said.

The police reviewed surveillance video, which recorded the woman and two men, one later identified as Napleton, walking to a hotel room at about 12:10 a.m. Aug. 8. The woman then fell to the ground and appeared unconscious, police said. The other man is shown dragging her into the hotel room by her feet, police said. Both men entered the room, but are shown leaving about 30 seconds later.

Shortly after they left, police said the recording shows the woman leaving the room, but falling in the hall. Members of the hotel staff found her unconscious in the hallway and put her in a wheelchair, the arrest record states. At about 12:30 a.m., a hotel employee returned her, apparently still unconscious, to her room, the report states.

At 1:21 a.m., the video shows a hotel employee giving a room key to the other man, who immediately gave it to Napleton. At about 1:30 a.m., both men walked to the hotel room, police said. Napleton remained in the room until 7:33 a.m., the report states.

A blood sample taken from the woman at about 2 p.m. Aug. 8 measured 0.077 grams of alcohol in her system, according to police reports.

The West Palm Beach Police Department launched an investigation, and said Napleton refused to make a statement, but did provide a DNA sample, police said.

On Jan. 29, a warrant for Napleton was issued. The delay was due to the time it took to obtain and review surveillance video, interview potential witnesses and present the case to the Palm Beach County State’s Attorney’s Office, said West Palm Beach Police Sgt. David Lefont.

Napleton was charged Feb. 3 with sexual battery to a helpless person and released on $50,000 bond the next day.

The Napleton group of dealerships released a statement through a spokesman backing Napleton.

“Our company has strict policies and procedures in place to protect the safety and well-being of all employees,” it reads. “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.”


Twitter @kfDoings

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