A man who fled to Italy after apparently feeding drug-laced spaghetti to two women and then sexually assaulting them pleaded guilty Friday to felony sex charges.
Nicola Iannone, 35, submitted his plea in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court to two charges of gross sexual imposition. He then was returned to the jail to be held without bond pending his Jan. 24 sentencing.As part of the plea bargain, prosecutors dropped six other charges against him, including charges stemming from an accusation of a similar incident in October 1987. The victim in that case has moved out of state and could not be located, said Chris Van Harlingen, an assistant county prosecutor.
Van Harlingen said the two victims assaulted by Iannone on Feb. 23, 1988, were consulted about the plea bargain arrangement and did not object.
The other charges against Iannone included rape and corrupting another with drugs.
Iannone, an Italian-born naturalized U.S. citizen, worked as a restaurant consultant in Cincinnati and Chicago. He would like someday to resume that work, said his lawyer, Martin Pinales.
Iannone had lost an extradition proceeding in Italy and was appealing it when he decided to return voluntarily to the United States last week and face the charges, Pinales said. Iannone had been jailed for 15 months in Italy while the extradition proceedings were pending.
Iannone's victims said he came to their Cincinnati apartment and fed them a pasta dinner and that they woke up the next day with their clothes off. The charges to which Iannone pleaded guilty said he had sexual contact with both victims and gave them drugs, either by force or deception.
Judge Norbert Nadel issued an arrest warrant for Iannone after he failed to show up for his May 1988 arraignment. The FBI announced in March 1989 that Iannone had been located in Milan, Italy.
Iannone faces up to 11/2 years in prison and fines of $2,500 on each of the two counts.
Asked if this was one of the stranger cases she has handled, Van Harlingen said, "This ranks right up there. It's pretty bizarre."