Former Hamilton bar owner arrested in connection to sexual assault investigation

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Published June 8, 2021 at 1:50 pm

Hamilton Police have arrested and charged a former local bar owner with sexual assault following a lengthy investigation into individuals linked to the city’s restaurant and bar scene.

Jesse Chiavaroli, the 41-year-old former owner of several nightclubs in Hamilton and St. Catharines was arrested last week by RCMP in Burnaby, B.C.

“As a result of information brought forward from the community, the Hamilton Police Sexual Assault Unit commenced an investigation into Jesse Chiavaroli,” Hamilton police said in a press release issued Tuesday (June 8).

“Investigators also worked closely with the Ontario Provincial Police and Niagara Regional Police Service after reports involving Chiavaroli were made in those areas.”

Allegations about Chiavaroli and others in the local restaurant scene surfaced following an explosive investigative report by the Hamilton Spectator’s Susan Clairmont that was published earlier this year.

The report revealed extensive allegations of sexual assault and harassment at the hands of the former owner of the now-closed Mezcal Tacos & Tequila restaurant, Manny Ferreira.

In the report’s wake, survivors have continued to come forward with their stories of abuse and sexual assault in Hamilton’s hospitality sector, including allegations against Chiavaroli.

Ferreira has not been charged with any offences to date, but Hamilton Police have said they are investigating the allegations made against him.

In the meantime, Chiavaroli was remanded into custody and has been transported back to Hamilton for a bail hearing, which is being held Tuesday.

Chiavaroli is a former resident of Niagara and Hamilton and worked in the restaurant and bar industry in downtown St. Catharines and Niagara Falls from 2009 – 2015. From 2015 to 2018, he lived and worked in Hamilton. He owned clubs Baroque, Ora, Heist and Trust, at one time.

Police say they believe there could be more victims and they are encouraged to report these crimes to the Hamilton Police Service by contacting the Sexual Assault Unit (non-emergency line) at 905-540-5553 or www.hamiltonpolice.on.ca to file an online report.

In the Niagara Region, anyone with information is asked to contact Constable Philip Gavin at 905-688-4111 Ext. 1009078. In the communities to which OPP police, please contact Constable Martin Hachey at 705-455-4321.

Anyone with information can also contact the Sexual Assault Unit, provide information anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, or submit anonymous tips online at www.crimestoppershamiIton.com.

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