A Manhattan restaurant owner bound over last month on 26 charges of sexual abuse against three minors maintains he’s innocent.
Bob’s Diner owner Robert Iacobellis entered the not guilty plea during an arraignment hearing Monday in Riley County District Court.
Judge Kendra Lewison has set an Aug. 17 status hearing. Riley County Attorney Barry Wilkerson tells KMAN that motions will likely be set at that hearing to proceed to trial.
At a preliminary hearing last month, prosecutors noted they intended to try Iacobellis on 16 counts against the first victim, including charges of rape and sodomy. He also faces six counts of aggravated indecent liberties against a second victim and four counts of aggravated indecent liberties against a third victim.
Each of the three victims testified that Iacobellis touched, fondled, or sexually assaulted them on numerous occasions, sometimes when they were as young as seven years old. Testimony from at least one of the victims alleged the abuse began when her mother, a former weekend employee at Bob’s Diner had Iacobellis babysit her while she went to work. That victim alleged the abuse continued until January 2019.
Iacobellis was arrested on in early August 2019. An amended complaint initially listed 130 total charges. He remains jailed on a $400,000 bond.
If convicted, Iacobellis could spend the rest of his life in prison, as 24 of the 26 counts carry a life sentence.