KEY POINTS

  • The 29-year-old man is accused of perpetrating sex attacks on nine women between 2016 and 2021
  • He met the two victims involved in his latest charges at his Italian restaurant in Australia on separate occasions in 2018
  • He and a friend also allegedly offered a woman cocaine and sexually assaulted her in March

A restaurant owner in Perth, Australia, has been accused of raping several women in the last five years — including one he allegedly assaulted in front of her husband.

Alberto Nicoletti, the 29-year-old owner of an Italian restaurant in the inner Perth suburb of Como, appeared in Perth Magistrates Court Thursday on three new charges related to alleged assaults on two women in September and October of 2018, The West Australian reported.

He is now accused of perpetrating sex attacks on nine women between 2016 and this year following the most recent allegations.

Nicoletti met the two victims involved in his latest charges at his Como Di Lago restaurant on separate occasions in 2018 and allegedly lured them to his south Perth apartment in both cases, 7News.com.au cited police as saying.

One of the victims was a 30-year-old woman who dined at Nicoletti's restaurant with her husband, the court was told. Nicoletti approached the customer, introduced himself as the owner of the establishment and offered her a glass of wine after a child knocked over her old one.

Nicoletti allegedly later "coerced" the victim and her husband to go back to his home, which he boasted had a "beautiful view," the court heard. He then raped the victim in the lobby of his apartment when her husband went to the toilet, prosecutors alleged.

The woman's husband allegedly witnessed the assault through a locked glass door, which he smashed through to stop the attack.

Nicoletti allegedly assaulted the second victim a month later after she picked up her order from his restaurant, according to prosecutors.

The restaurant owner allegedly handed the woman a glass of wine while she was waiting for her takeout and discussed his apartment's views with her.

Nicoletti then offered to drive the customer back to her hotel, but he allegedly took her to his apartment instead and sexually assaulted her twice.

Nicoletti faces "two further pending charges" involving an alleged victim living interstate and another living locally whose statement has not been obtained yet, the court heard. 

Nicoletti reportedly wanted to be released from custody and placed in home detention so that he could continue to run his business by phone.

Prosecutors opposed the request, and Magistrate Donna Webb, for her part, also knocked back Nicoletti's application. The judge was concerned about the address' proximity to his restaurant, which is linked to a number of his alleged crimes.

Webb, in refusing bail, said the lease at the apartment was due to expire in two months, and she was not satisfied that it was stable enough or appropriate to grant home detention bail.

Additionally, Webb was concerned about the apartment having a security gate that may prevent police from entering. 

Another bail application for Nicoletti is expected to be made in the Supreme Court, defense lawyer Paul Holmes said.

Nicoletti and his friend, Vincenzo Mineo, were charged after surveillance footage showed the duo emerging from a Scarborough toilet cubicle in March this year. The pair allegedly pretended they were gay to lure a woman there and offered her cocaine before sexually assaulting her.

Nicoletti and Mineo are also accused of raping separate women they had met on the same night at a Scarborough bar called El Grotto.

Mineo is already on home detention bail.

courtroom-898931_1920 Representation. Alberto Nicoletti appeared in court Thursday after he was accused of raping two female customers he met at his restaurant in 2018. Photo: Pixabay