Gaslamp

Owner arrested on sex assault charges days after Gaslamp restaurant opening

The owner shared a video of his arrest on social media and several posts maintaining his innocence

generic police car lights SDPD
NBC 7

The owner of a since-closed restaurant in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter is accused of sexually assaulting two people at his establishment last year, but the owner has maintained his innocence in messages posted to social media.

Geoffrey Enrico Cole, 41, the former owner of Chefs SD, was arrested on felony and misdemeanor sexual assault charges Monday after a near-year-long investigation into two reports of sexual assault made in late May 2023, the San Diego Police Department said. The reporting parties said the assaults occurred in the lounge of the now-shuttered restaurant at 531 F Street on May 27, 2023.

The day before his arrest, Cole had opened a new restaurant just blocks away from the old Chefs SD location called Brunch After Dark, or BAD. Photos posted on Instagram show the business owner at his ribbon cutting standing next to San Diego City Council Member Stephen Whitburn. Another post shows video of his arrest.

"On Easter I was arrested and accused of sexual battery and indecent exposure at Chefs SD after my grand opening of BAD down the street from my previous restaurant. I don't know any of the details for any of the crimes that I am accused of. I don't know who the alleged victims are either," a statement posted on Instagram read, in part.

Cole said in a video posted to Instagram that he was released on $70,000 bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Apirl 8.

SDPD asked anyone with information regarding the case to call SDPD Sex Crimes Unit at (619) 531-2210 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

Correction: This article originally stated that Cole was seen in a photograph of a ribbon cutting standing next to San Diego City Council Member Sean Elo-Rivera, when, in fact, Cole was standing next to San Diego City Council Member Whitburn — Ed.

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