ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – A jury Tuesday found a former St. Charles restaurant owner not guilty of charges that he grabbed a waitress’s breast and squeezed it against her will.
A 12-member jury came back with the not guilty verdict after 45 minutes of deliberation after a five-hour trial before Kane County Judge John Noverini.
“I’m free,” said a smiling Dimitrios Lolis, 55, of St. Charles, who was shaking hands with his lawyer, James Casement. “It’s 500 pounds off my back. The nightmare is over.”
The charge stemmed from a complaint by a former waitress at the now-closed Copper Fox Cafe, 305 W. Main St., St. Charles. Katy Green, 24, of Geneva alleged that Lolis grabbed her right breast at the end of a work night Aug. 20, 2011.
The charge was misdemeanor battery/making physical contact without justification. Lolis faced a punishment of up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500 if convicted.
Lolis had been convicted in a bench trial in 2012, but he won the right to a new trial after a judge determined he had not been properly apprised of his right to a jury trial.
In testimony Tuesday, Lolis and his wife, Lisa, maintained that they sat at a table near the front of the restaurant and that he never followed Green to the back of the establishment where Green alleged the battery occurred.
St. Charles police officer Dawn Churney testified that Green was upset when she made the police complaint 12 days later.
“She was crying,” Churney said. “She was angry. She was in shock. She had kind of a bunch of different emotions going. She was very upset.”
Lolis testified that Green brought her grandparents to the restaurant the next day and the next weekend and introduced them to him.
“She said they loved the place so much they wanted to be regulars there,” Lolis said.
In closing arguments, Assistant State’s Attorneys Bianca Camargo and Daniel Weiler said while there is no physical evidence or witnesses, the jury could rely on testimonial evidence – that is, the believability of the witnesses.
Weiler said Lolis had “power and authority” while Green had none, and that Lolis relied on his position to decide to grab her in the dark “because no one was around.”
Camargo said two days after the incident, Green testified that Lolis made a disparaging remark about his wife of 22 years. Camargo asked how would Green – who had been hired 10 days before the incident – know how long the Lolises had been married?
“At the end of the day, this defendant put his hands on her,” Camargo said. “He picked the wrong person because she was not going to take it.”
In his closing statements, Casement pointed to Green’s behavior as evidence that nothing happened.
“Why come back to work?” Casement asked. “Why bring your grandparents and introduce them to the molester?”
Jurors said they did not want to comment about their deliberations.