Indictment handed up in topless coffee shop fire

Posted July 02, 2010, at 11:28 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine man accused of burning down a coffee shop that featured topless waitresses has been indicted on two counts of arson.

The formal charges were handed up by a grand jury charging 49-year-old Raymond Bellavance Jr. with two counts stemming from the destruction of the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop in June 2009. One count applies to destruction of property; the second, endangering a life.

Owner Donald Crabtree and six others, including two babies, were sleeping in a room connected to the coffee shop. All escaped without injury.

The Kennebec Journal quotes from court documents saying Bellavance acknowledged on several occasions that he set the fire. Authorities say he was angry about his girlfriend’s relationship with the owner.