‘The Finnisher’ released from jail

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by Shern-Min Chow & Andrew Horansky / KHOU 11 NEWS

khou.com

Posted on January 11, 2013 at 9:47 AM

HOUSTON -- The man once recognized as a neighborhood hero bonded out of jail Thursday night.

Rik Melartin, aka the “The Finnisher,” has been seen wielding a gun in his television advertisement, but on Thursday, he was seen wearing an orange jumpsuit.

The 51-year-old Olympian was in court to learn the conditions of his bond.

The mother of his alleged victim was also there and said she wanted to look him in the eye.

“I am going to walk this every step of the way in getting justice for my daughter,” she said. “If he’s brought in to sign a paper I will be there, every step of the way.”

Melartin is accused of paying her daughter, who was 16, to have sex. His assistant, 37-year-old George Koutani is accused of indecency.

They all worked at John Keating Chevrolet in Crosby.

Though Melartin and Koutani both bonded out, Melartin was re-arrested this week as he was filling out paperwork at the courthouse.

There had been a clerical snafu which had caused his bond to be revoked.

On Thursday, the bond was reinstated, but with conditions.

Melartin must now wear a GPS device on his ankle and surrender his firearms. He can only leave Harris County for work reasons.

According to his attorney, Jim Butler, Melartin has already surrendered his passport.

“He’s happy now,” Butler said, “Happy that he gets to go back home. All of the other emotions from one end of the spectrum to the other are still there.”

Butler claims the victim’s family first fought for a settlement worth nearly $1 million, and that criminal charges were filed only after Melartin refused to pay.

The family denies that.

Other women have since claimed they were victims too. Butler says he has not seen any new charges filed against his client.

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