A former Manhattan restaurant owner facing more than two dozen charges of sex crimes had his sentencing delayed after his lawyers motioned to withdraw as counsel Friday.
63-year-old Robert Iacobellis is accused of 27 counts of sexual assault and rape by four different people, three of whom were minors at the time. Iacobellis, the longtime owner of Bob’s Diner on 3rd Street, was arrested just over three years ago in August of 2019 and was set to be sentenced on a plea deal Friday morning at 9 a.m.
Iacobellis was represented by attorneys Brenda Jordan and Lora Ingels, the second legal team working his case after a 2019 change in counsel. Jordan and Ingels had arranged an Alford Plea deal with Riley County prosecutors, from which Iacobellis is now hoping to withdraw.
Riley County Attorney Barry Wilkerson noted the State’s intention to object to a motion to withdraw from the plea deal once filed, saying they believe the deal met constitutional requirements.
Jordan in court Friday stated that Iacobellis’ assertions regarding a motion to withdraw from the plea deal would impact the legal team’s performance for him, asking Judge Kendra Lewison to withdraw from the case and allow a new attorney to step in, file that motion and continue the case to its conclusion.
Iacobellis says he’s signed a deal with attorney Christopher Joesph of the law firm Joseph Hollander & Craft LLC out of Lawrence, though his initial desposit is still pending. Lewison granted the motion to withdraw counsel, though told Iacobellis that ‘time is of the essence’ given the length of time the case had been pending. She set a status hearing with Iacobellis’ new attorney to occur August 15 at 2:30 p.m. on her Zoom docket.