Former co-owner of popular downtown bar arrested


A former co-owner of Vat & Barrel, a popular night spot in downtown Seymour, was arrested Monday afternoon on seven counts of battery after multiple women came forward with complaints about his actions, police report.

Marc Fletcher Gebhart, 67, of Columbus was charged with seven counts of battery, all Class B misdemeanors. He was booked into the Jackson County Jail at 2:56 p.m. and was released at 3:08 p.m. after paying a $355 bond.

Vat & Barrel opened July 4, 2020, by Tom Gray and Gebhart, and was closed Feb. 9 of this year. Gray has said through the Vat & Barrel Facebook page it will reopen April 5 with him as the sole owner.

According to the probable cause affidavit signed by Detective Derek Eggers with the Indiana State Police, incidents of Gebhart making sexual comments and actions toward female workers began as early as 2020, but was not investigated until one filed a police report on Feb. 9 of this year.

The incident that started the investigation began in January of 2023 when a woman. who was working at Vat & Barrel, said Gebhart touched her inappropriately while out at another local bar.

Two other employees of Vat & Barrel also were out with the women, but did not see the incident. It was, however, caught on camera, according to court records.

The woman obtained the video a couple days after the incident.

She tried to initially file a police report with Seymour Police Department in Jan. of 2024, but said she was told she couldn’t because of a conflict of interest, according to court records.

According to the probable cause, a police report was officially filed in February of 2024 after the victim found Gebhart had assaulted two more employees.

Throughout the probable cause multiple women shared their experiences and witnesses reported interactions that involved Gebhart with employees as well as customers.

It was stated throughout the probable cause multiple times Gebhart would pretend he did not hear a question that was asked in order to get closer to the employees. He would then lay his hand on their lower back and then would move his hand down after pulling away from the conversation.

It was also noted multiple female workers did not feel safe being alone with Gebhart during late night hours, according court records.

Multiple victims said Gebhart would blame his behavior on medication he takes for a possible brain tumor.

Gray told police he did see the video that was obtained from the incident at the local bar.

He also said there was no video footage to be obtained from another incident that occurred in Vat & Barrel because all recordings delete after seven days, according to the probable cause.

After multiple women came to Gray, he decided to confront Gebhart for his actions to which he denied everything, according to the probable cause.

Gray said he closed the restaurant because if he did not close he felt like it would be condoning Gebhart’s behavior.

Gray said the had been trying to get out of business with Gebhart for the last year, but was having difficulty because Gebhart handled the money.

According to the probable cause, Gray said the two met with an accountant to discuss separation of ownership. Gray said the accountant noted there were approximately $51,000 in cash funds that were not accounted for.

According to the probable cause, Gray said, “That wasn’t the worst thing. For me, the girls were the worst thing.”

Gray said he is currently working on adjusting operation hours and all the original staff has returned to work.

“We just want to focus on making this a positive environment and a place where everybody wants to come eat,” he said.

Gebhart has an initial hearing with Special Judge Jason Mount at 1 p.m. April 9 at the Jackson County Circuit Court in Brownstown.

Probable cause affidavits are public record and can be obtained by the court.

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