Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2007

Restaurant partner found guilty of sexual offense

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The co-owner of a local Italian restaurant chain is on probation after being convicted of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old employee.

Dimitrios ‘‘Jimmy” Fragoyannis of Potomac, the 41-year-old co-owner of Mamma Lucia, was found guilty of second-degree assault and fourth-degree sex offense, resulting in 18 months of probation and a $1,000 fine.

The conviction was handed down Dec. 4 in District Court.

The victim is not being named because The Gazette does not identify victims of sexual assault.

According to court charging documents, Fragoyannis asked the waitress to bring him an espresso to the rear office of the restaurant in Rockville’s Fallsgrove community on Shady Grove Road. After delivering the espresso, the waitress said Fragoyannis grabbed her buttocks, according to the documents.

When she resisted and tried to leave the office, Fragoyannis pulled her back towards him by her back pocket. He asked her to close the door and began feeling the waitress under her shirt. He then told her to give him a kiss, and said she could not tell anyone about the incident, according to the court documents.

The waitress refused, left the restaurant and reported the assault to the police.

Fragoyannis did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Paul T. Stein of Rockville, Fragoyannis’ defense attorney, said he had no comment on the case because ‘‘the matter is still pending.”

Seth Zucker, spokesman for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, said as far as prosecutors are concerned, Fragoyannis has been tried and convicted and the case is closed. He added that he could not speculate what the defense might do next.

Mamma Lucia is a local Italian restaurant chain that originated in Rockville and has since opened eateries in Bethesda, Olney and another in Rockville in Fallsgrove. Fragoyannis became a partner in the chain in 1997, according to the restaurant’s Web site.