Suspect in topless coffee shop fire asks for dismissal

Posted Dec. 01, 2011, at 12:57 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 27, 2012, at 2:03 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A lawyer for the Maine man accused of burning down a coffee shop that employed topless servers has asked a judge to dismiss the charges.

Raymond Bellavance’s attorney asked a judge in Kennebec County Superior Court on Wednesday to dismiss arson charges because prosecutors had not disclosed all the evidence gathered about the fire at the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop in Vassalboro in June 2009. The evidence includes interviews with inmates in the jail where Bellavance is being held pending trial.

The Kennebec Journal reported that Bellavance’s lawyer says the inmates were offered favorable treatment.

Bellavance, 50, of Winthrop is scheduled to go on trial Dec. 14.

Seven people, including two infants, were in the building at the time of the fire, but all escaped unharmed.