Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Restaurant co-owner drops appeal of sex offense conviction

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The co-owner of Mamma Lucia restaurants who was convicted of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old waitress dropped his appeal Tuesday morning, according to his attorney.

Paul T. Stein of Rockville said he had no comment on behalf of his client, Dimitrios ‘‘Jimmy” Fragoyannis, 42, as to why he withdrew his appeal.

Pat Gongloff, a spokeswoman for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, said Fragoyannis’ decision to withdraw his appeal was voluntary and the court dismissed the case.

Fragoyannis, of Potomac, was convicted in December in District Court on second-degree assault and fourth-degree sex offense charges, resulting in 18 months of probation and a $1,000 fine.

According to charging documents filed in District Court, Fragoyannis asked the waitress to bring 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, court documents say. 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, according to the court documents.

Mamma Lucia is a local Italian restaurant chain that originated in Rockville. Fragoyannis became a partner in the chain in 1997, according to the restaurant’s Web site.

The chain now has restaurants in Bethesda, Olney and Fallsgrove.