A July trial date has been set for a Columbus man accusing of having sex with five employees of a Powell business he used to own.
Danny Kitsos, 53, of 1941 Rockdale Drive, Columbus, the previous owner and operator of Rita’s Ice, an establishment in Powell, entered a not-guilty plea via his attorney, Brian Jones, Wednesday to the following charges:
• Rape, a first-degree felony.
• Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a third-degree felony.
• Three counts of sexual battery, third-degree felonies.
• Two counts of compelling prostitution, third-degree felonies.
• Five charges of selling, purchasing, distributing or delivering dangerous drugs, fourth-degree felonies.
• Five counts of underage-persons offenses, which are first-degree misdemeanors. The indictment states that these charges are for providing alcohol to underage persons.
Delaware County Common Pleas Judge Everett Krueger set a trial date for July 19 and set bail for Kitsos at $120,000.
Prosecutors said the trial would likely last three days.
Krueger said that if Kitsos makes bail, he will be placed on GPS monitoring and house arrest. Krueger ordered that he not have contact with any of the alleged victims in the case.
County prosecutors allege that between Sept. 1, 2012, and Oct. 31, 2015, Kitsos sexually abused five female employees.
Prosecutors said the investigation began when one victim told her parents about the abuse and her parents contacted Powell police.
Matt Simon, the current owner of Rita’s Ice, said Tuesday that Kitsos signed over the business earlier this month and has nothing to do with it now. Simon said Rita’s Ice is still open and under his ownership now. According to Rita’s website, they sell frozen custard and Italian ice.
The first victim, listed as Jane Doe 1 in the indictment, was reportedly older than 13 but younger than 16 at the time the alleged rape and unlawful sexual conduct occurred. Prosecutors said the other victims in the case were 16 or 17 years old when the crimes occurred.
Prosecutors said Kitsos would provide the employees with drugs or alcohol and have sex with them. The indictment states Kitsos paid two of his employees to have sex with him.
A warrant was issued for Kitsos’ arrest after he was indicted March 24. Prosecutors said that Kitsos had turned himself in that afternoon.
Kitsos was in the Delaware County Jail Wednesday.