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Clearwater Downtown Development Board member resigns after sexual battery charge

By Times staff

CLEARWATER — Tony’s Pizza owner Bledar Starova resigned from the Downtown Development Board on Oct. 24, the day after he was arrested and charged with sexual battery.

The 19-year-old victim told police Starova gave her wine and tequila at his Cleveland Street restaurant between 3 and 5 a.m. on July 14 and raped her while she was intoxicated.

When interviewed by police, Starova denied having sexual intercourse with the woman, according to an arrest affidavit. Laboratory tests showed Starova’s DNA on vaginal swabs taken from the victim, the affidavit states.

Attorney Caitlein Jammo was appointed to fill Starova’s seat through the next DDB election, which will occur in October.