Although owner Jeff Vallone cited "a tough economy" when Amici closed in late last year, it appears that something much more sinister could be behind the Sugar Land restaurant's closing.
Former chef Bruce McMillian is planning an insanity defense to charges of sexual assault of a child.
McMillian, 49, was arrested in Fort Bend County in January, one month after Amici's closing, and charged with two counts of sexual assault, one count of indecency with a child (including sexual contact); and one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, Fort Bend County district court records show. No details were available regarding the connection between the boy and McMillian, or where the alleged incidents occurred.
Court records allege that McMillian performed oral sex on the boy on multiple occasions between October 2007 and November 2009, and that other sexual contact occurred between December 2008 and June 2010.
A jury trial has been set for August 29.
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A judge denied three motions to reduce bond, but the court accepted his claim of indigency and appointed defense attorney Eric Ashford in February. Ashford was unavailable for comment.
McMillian was the executive chef of the upscale Tony's, a Houston institution, for ten years before opening Amici in Sugar Land.
McMillian filed a notice July 11 of his intent to raise the insanity defense, simultaneously asking the court to provide a mental health expert to evaluate whether he "was insane at the time the offense was committed."
Prosecutor Lisa Gregg was unavailable for comment.