LOCKPORT – The former co-owner of Italian restaurants in Buffalo and Lewiston, who was indicted three years ago on federal drug charges, was arraigned in Niagara County Court on Tuesday on an indictment accusing him of sexually abusing an adolescent girl.
Filippo Inglima, 46, of Thornwood Drive, Wheatfield, pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree sexual abuse, three counts of third-degree sexual abuse and single counts of second-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.
Assistant District Attorney Robert A. Zucco said that the alleged victim was 13 years old when the reported incidents began in Inglima’s home in July 2004 and that they continued there in July 2005.
A final incident occurred in July 2011, when the victim was 20, according to the indictment, and took place at Villella’s Restaurant in downtown Niagara Falls, where Inglima was working.
The defendant formerly owned Villa Fortunata on Center Street in Lewiston and Filippo’s on Hertel Avenue in Buffalo.
In November 2009, a federal grand jury named Inglima among 24 defendants in a 35-count drug indictment.
Most of the defendants have pleaded guilty, but Inglima’s case is still open, said Barbara J. Burns, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Buffalo.
Inglima is charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, marijuana and Ecstasy; conspiracy to import marijuana; conspiracy to commit money laundering; and distribution of marijuana.
The indictment alleges that the ring imported more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana from Canada and conspired to distribute more than 5 kilos of cocaine. The government sought to make Inglima and four other defendants forfeit their personal vehicles and a total of $1 million.
Federal court papers show that Inglima used his house as collateral for a $500,000 bail bond. Burns said a condition of Inglima’s bail was that he surrender his passport.
Inglima, an Italian citizen, posted $2,500 bail at the time of his arrest on the sex charges, and Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas allowed him to remain free on that bail.
Farkas signed a one-year restraining order barring Inglima from any contact with the alleged victim or with a female witness in the case.