Henry County authorities not pursuing criminal charges after investigation into restaurant

Southside Virginia News

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HENRY COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Authorities in Henry County have decided not to pursue criminal charges following an investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior involving the owner of a local restaurant.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office says information was sent in over social media from a third party on June 8 about the allegations involving the owner of Livy’s restaurant at 2824 Virginia Avenue.

Even though an actual victim did not contact the sheriff’s office, an investigation was launched immediately.

According to authorities, investigators tried to reach all 56 people who are either current or former employees of Livy’s. Of those 56 individuals, 42 spoke with investigators either over the phone or in-person, while the other 14 have not returned calls or communicated with the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff’s office says there were three focuses to this criminal investigation based on the report:

  • Was there any solicitation of inappropriate behavior between a minor and an adult?
  • Was there any inappropriate touching — also referred to as sexual assault — of a minor or an adult?
  • Were there any unwanted criminal communications?

During the course of the investigation, authorities say they found no evidence to support the focuses of the case. Furthermore, none of the individuals interviewed were willing share any communications sent between them and the owner of Livy’s, or sent between them and other previous or current employees. 

According to officials, they narrowed down the investigation to focus on those with personal involvement in this case. When investigators made personal contact, none of the interviewed individuals produced any first hand evidence to support any claims of criminal conduct, and some individuals refused to cooperate with the investigation. All statements and evidence obtained through this investigation was thoroughly reviewed by the Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities say it was determined the investigation revealed no criminal activity after the case was reviewed by the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.

Based on the lack of evidence and the lack of cooperation by any of the current or previous employees of Livy’s who were contacted by authorities, the sheriff’s office says it will not be pursuing any criminal charges.

“The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is stating that we recognize the reluctance of people to come forward reporting incidents of this nature. If someone has not yet come forward with information needed to pursue criminal charges, we request they personally contact our office and we will maintain their integrity as a victim and investigate crimes on their behalf,” the Henry County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on Thursday, June 17. “If anyone who is an actual victim of criminal activity in this incident comes forward, this investigation will be reopened immediately and fully investigated.”

The sheriff’s office says it does not investigate civil matters regarding labor laws, so all parties involved in labor law matters are referred to the appropriate agencies.

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