Metro-East News

Grand jury indicts owner of popular St. Louis restaurant in sex case

The owner of a popular St. Louis restaurant has been indicted by a grand jury on sexual abuse, sodomy and assault charges, according to multiple reports from St. Louis media outlets.

Giovanni Gabriele, owner of Giovanni’s on the Hill, 5201 Shaw Ave., has been charged with sodomy in the first degree, sexual abuse in the second degree, and assault in the third degree, according to KMOV.

According to KTVI, Gabrielle, 75, was charged in connection with an incident that allegedly happened on July 6 at the restaurant. KTVI reported that Gabriele met with a female security system representative. He is accused of restraining the woman in a chair and moving his hands up her dress toward her thighs.

The woman told investigators that Gabriele kissed her, said he wanted to perform oral sex on her and licked her chest without his consent, according to KTVI’s report.

Gabriele told KMOV that he denied the allegations made against him and told the station a statement would be forthcoming from him and his lawyer.

According to the restaurant’s website, it has been in operation since 1973. It claims that it “has been a St. Louis icon” and “has been rated as one of the finest Italian restaurants.”

Don O’Brien: 618-239-2626, @DOBrienBND