A co-owner of the famed Four Seasons restaurant was arraigned yesterday on a charge of sexual abuse stemming from an incident that allegedly took place during a party at the restaurant. Julian Niccolini surrendered to police and was released without bail until a grand jury can be convened and examine the evidence of the case. He's been charged with a single felony count of sexual abuse, which could land him seven years in prison if convicted.
The alleged victim told detectives at the NYPD's Special Victims Division that Niccolini "tried to kiss her, touching her legs and buttocks and pulling her toward him...then reached through an opening in the back of her dress and tugged on her bra until it ripped, touched her breasts, yanked up her dress and tried to pull down her stockings." The victim was left with scratches on her back and a bruised hip, according to a prosector with the Manhattan district attorney. A $10,000 bail was requested, but a judge instead released Niccolini to his family without bail.
Though he has a reputation for his antics in the restaurant—see his Twitter bio—Niccolini maintains his innocence on the charges. "I am not guilty," he said while leaving court with this family. "I look forward to being back to work tomorrow." Whether that work will still be around remains to be seen. Steve Cuozzo at the Post is already heralding the end of the eatery, which has been fighting a very public battle against eviction and an argument about the iconic Picasso art work that hung at the restaurant until recently.