Having previously confessed his guilt on federal racketeering charges, a Howard Beach bagel store owner with mafia ties was convicted on Wednesday of sexually harassing and groping a female employee.
In a related matter, a newspaper publisher in Howard Beach admitted in federal court to charges that she tried to intervene on the store owner’s behalf by attempting to coerce the victim’s father into having the charges dropped.
Jurors returned a guilty verdict on June 27 against Robert Pisani, 44, of forcible touching and harassment, but they acquitted him of sexual abuse. Pisani faces a maximum term of one year in state prison when he is sentenced on Aug. 14.
According to the criminal complaint that the Queens District Attorney’s office provided, Pisani confronted the female employee at the All-American Bagel and Barista Company located at 82-41 153rd Ave. at about 2 p.m. on the afternoon of April 28, 2017.
Police said that Pisani grabbed the woman’s buttocks while she worked, then pulled the back of her bra strap. He then grabbed the woman’s hand and placed it on his genitalia, without her consent.
The previous month, Pisani and nine other individuals were indicted by the federal government for alleged organized crime activity ranging from racketeering to loan sharking and murder attempts. The indicted suspects are reputed members of the Bonanno crime family.
Pisani had been released on $500,000 bail, but the NYPD Special Victims Squad arrested him on May 4 for the sexual harassment case. That led federal prosecutors to move to revoke Pisani’s bail.
Federal law enforcement sources then accused Pisani of reaching out to Patricia Adams, publisher of The Forum Newsgroup weekly newspaper based in Howard Beach, and allegedly asked for her help. Authorities said that Adams — also considered to be a Bonanno family associate — then reached out to the victim’s father, met him at a local Starbucks coffee shop and allegedly tried to coerce him into having his daughter into dropping the charges.
The conversation wound up being recorded by the victim’s father and was ultimately turned over to federal prosecutors, who arrested Adams on Aug. 16 on a witness tampering charge.
Sources with the U.S. Attorney’s office said that Adams pleaded guilty on June 25 to misprision of a felony, a count that acknowledges concealment of a felonious crime. She faces up to three years in prison when she is sentenced in September.
Meanwhile, Pisani pleaded guilty last November to participating in an unlawful debt racketeering conspiracy and is scheduled to be sentenced next month; he could face between 15 and 21 months in federal prison.