A judge ruled today that prosecutors had established probable cause for a rape case against local business owner Sam Mustafa to move forward to trial.

Mustafa, 41, sat just two rows in front of his accuser and former employee in the case, while attorneys for both sides reviewed the facts at an often-heated preliminary hearing. An arrest warrant filed in October says the 6-foot-6 Mustafa threw the 4-foot-11, 20-year-old woman onto a bed in a cabin aboard his boat, The Southern Lady, pulled off her bikini and forced her to have sex with him in June.

Mustafa owns Toast, two Market Street Saloon restaurant and nightclub locations, Charleston Downtown Limo, a deli called Sam's Corner, a Mediterranean cafe named Tabbuli Grill and a Southern-style restaurant he named Eli's Table for his son. Charleston County Associate Magistrate James Gosnell Jr. ruled that the first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge against him would advance.

Read more in Thursday's editions of The Post and Courier.