WALLINGFORD — A local restaurant owner was charged earlier this week with two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault.
Christian Rao, 54, of 9 N. Main St. Apt. A, turned himself in Tuesday night after police issued a warrant for his arrest. He was released on a promise to appear and is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 10 in Meriden Superior Court.
Rao is the owner of two downtown restaurants, Cafe Ra, 350 Center St., and J.Christian’s, 9 N. Main St. He did not return calls for comment Thursday.
Fourth-degree sexual assault is defined by state statute as subjecting a minor to sexual contact.
According to the arrest warrant, a juvenile known to Rao told police he touched him inappropriately on two occasions in July at Cafe Ra and that he offered him an alcoholic drink once earlier this year. He reported the incident to police on Aug. 1.
Police searched the restaurant on Aug. 2 for cameras, recording devices, computers, digital storage devices and surveillance footage. They seized a dome-style camera in the restaurant dining area, along with a micro SD memory card located inside the camera. The memory card “was found to provide no evidentiary value,” the warrant said.
Police also spoke with Rao that day. According to the warrant, Rao said that he knew what it was about, was “cooperative” and that he had already hired a lawyer.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the sex of the alleged victim.