Julian Niccolini, the longtime co-owner of The Four Seasons Restaurant, pleaded guilty to sexual-abuse charges yesterday in a Manhattan criminal court. The restaurateur was arrested last summer following allegations by a 28-year-old acquaintance who accused him of aggressively groping her and pulling on her bra to the point of it ripping, despite her repeated pleas for him to stop. The episode, the unnamed woman said, occurred during a party at the restaurant.
As part of a plea deal, Niccolini admitted to touching the woman, thus scratching and bruising her hip and thigh. While he was initially facing a felony sexual-abuse charge, which could’ve seen him sentenced to seven years in prison, Niccolini was charged with third-degree assault, a misdemeanor. Though he could have been sentenced to a year in prison, the deal will keep him out on a “conditional discharge,” which will require him to not commit any crimes over the next 12 months. Niccolini declined to comment to reporters about the verdict.