ST. JOSEPH — The co-owner of a Stevensville restaurant has been charged with multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct involving three former employees.
Berrien County Prosecutor Steve Pierangeli said Raffaele Santaniello, 50, of Stevensville, was arraigned in Berrien County Trial Court on Monday on one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, six counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of kidnapping.
Third-degree CSC is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Fourth-degree CSC is punishable by up to two years in prison, and kidnapping is punishable by any term of years.
Pierangeli said the charges stem from allegations involving three separate victims who were employed at Santaniello’s Glenlord Restaurant & Pizzeria on Glenlord Road in Stevensville.
The prosecutor said the incidents are alleged to have taken place over a period of time from 2016 through 2021. He said the incidents were unrelated to each other and are alleged to have occurred at different times and locations.
Pierangeli said the allegations include forced sexual touching and coerced penetration.
At Santaniello’s arraignment Monday afternoon, bond was set at $250,000 cash or surety with a GPS tether. A pre-exam conference is set for Jan. 12, with a preliminary hearing set for Jan. 18.
Pierangeli said Santaniello was taken into custody to be placed on tether, which is expected to take place Tuesday morning.
The restaurant’s website and Facebook page appear to have been removed from the internet.
A call to the restaurant Monday afternoon was sent to a voicemail box that was full. The restaurant is normally closed on Mondays.