May 21, 2018
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Man pleads not guilty to topless coffee shop fire

Bangor Daily News | BDN
Bangor Daily News | BDN
The State Fire Marshal's Office says an arrest warrant has been issued for an Augusta man charging him in connection with last year's fire in Vassalboro that destroyed the Grandview Topless Coffee Shop. Fire Marshal Sgt. Kenneth Grimes said his investigators and police are looking for 49 year old Raymond Bellavance who will be charged with arson. Bellavance lives at 3 Jefferson Street in Augusta and has not been seen for the last couple of days. Bellavance was a boyfriend of one of the waitresses. Grimes said the arrest warrant was issued by the Kennebec County Superior Court Monday and results from the ten month investigation by the Fire Marshal's Office and the Kennebec County Sheriff's Office. The fire on June 3, 2009, destroyed the coffee shop and adjoining apartments. At the time of the fire, one of those apartments was occupied by owner Donald Crabtree and six other family members, including two infants. All escaped without injury. The fire was discovered by a passing ambulance about 1 a.m. Bellavance is described as 5'7" tall, 150 pounds with dark hair, and numerous tattoos on both arms, the most prominent being a skull on both arms. Anyone with information on Bellavance's whereabouts is asked to call State Police in Augusta at 624-7076, or 911 on a cell phone. (Photo courtesy Maine Dept. of Public Safety)
The Associated Press

AUGUSTA, Maine — A 49-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to two counts of arson for allegedly setting fire to a topless coffee shop in central Maine.

Raymond Bellavance Jr., of Augusta, entered his pleas Tuesday in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Bellavance is accused of setting fire to the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop in Vassalboro in the early morning hours of June 3, 2009. Prosecutors say he set the fire because he was angry at his ex-girlfriend, who worked at the shop and allegedly had a relationship with the owner.

Bellavance is being held on $200,000 cash bail.

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