Chefs of Napoli founder out of jail with special conditions in sex trafficking case

Luigi Barile

The founder of a popular Italian restaurant in Wildwood who was charged with human trafficking last week is out of jail.

Luigi Barile, 38, who along with Antonio Cacace founded the Chefs of Napoli restaurants in Wildwood, Ocala and Spring Hill, was one of nine men arrested Friday in connection with sex trafficking in Hernando County.

Barile was released Thursday night on $25,000 bond after Judge Daniel B. Merritt Jr. rejected a motion by Assistant Statewide Prosecutor Julie L. Sercus for pretrial detention. The judge found the motion to be “factually insufficient” and ordered that Barile’s bond be drastically reduced from the original amount of $650,000.

Barile’s new bond was set at $10,000 each on two counts of kidnapping/human trafficking and $5,000 on a count of unlawful use of a two-way communication device. On the fourth charge, lewd and lascivious behavior with a victim ages 12 to 16, Merritt ruled there was no probable cause and changed the bond from $100,000 to ROR – released on own recognizance.

The conditions of Barile’s new bond also came with several special conditions, including:

  • Will be placed on a GPS monitor and will surrender his passport.
  • No communication of any kind through any medium with the minor victim.
  • No intentional contact with any child under 18.
  • Prohibited from being within 500 feet of the victim’s residence, vehicle, school or employment.
  • Prohibited from working for pay or as a volunteer or as a student at any place where children regularly congregate, including but not limited to any school, childcare facilities, park playground, pet store, library, zoo, theme park, shopping mall or healthcare facility.
  • Prohibited from possessing, carrying or owning firearms.
  • Prohibited from possessing, viewing, accessing or owning obscene, pornographic, or sexually stimulating visual or auditory material, including telephone, electronic media, computer programs or computer services that are relevant to the offender’s “deviant behavior pattern.”
  • Prohibited from committing a new violation of law.
  • Prohibited from associating with any person engaged in criminal activity;
  • Prohibited from using intoxicants to excess or possessing any drugs or narcotics unless prescribed by a physician.
  • Prohibited from visiting places where intoxicants, drugs or other dangerous substances are unlawfully sold, dispensed or used.
  • Must remain in Hernando County.

Sercus had argued that Barile “poses the threat of harm to the community” and had asked Merritt to consider several factors, including the fact that Barile, who was born in Italy and lives in Spring Hill with his wife and a child, “has the financial means to flee the jurisdiction of this Court.”

Sercus’ failed motion for pretrial detention claims that Barile responded to an internet advertisement for sex with a young teenage girl that was posted by a person acting in a guardian role for her. The motion claims that Barile “negotiated the terms of the commercial sex act” and then traveled to a location where he paid cash to engage in sex acts with the victim.

Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis called the case against Luigi Barile, co-founder of The Chefs of Napoli restaurant chain, particularly disturbing.

The motion says that forensic evidence from the teenager’s cell phone revealed that Barile “engaged in the commercial sex acts with the victim on more than occasion,” once at a hotel in Ocala and another time at a residence in Brooksville.

The motion claims that the victim identified Barile from a photo package as the person who brought adult males with him to the Ocala hotel and they engaged in two different types of sex acts with her in exchange for money.

The motion also claims that Barile, who is 6-foot-3-inches tall and weighs 450 pounds, admitted to meeting the teenager over the internet, meeting her at her home and at a hotel in Ocala. And it claims that he admitted to engaging in a sex act with the victim on at least one occasion and “bringing two men with him to the hotel in Ocala to meet the victim for commercial sex.”

Barile, who lives at 3487 Misty View Drive in Spring Hill and is being represented by attorney Lee Michael Pearlman of St. Petersburg, has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said the case against nine men arrested this past Thursday in a human trafficking case came to light through an anonymous tip.

At a press conference announcing the arrests last Friday, Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis called the case against Barile disturbing.

“Not only did he use the services of our young victim, he also brought at least one time at least three of his friends with him,” Nienhuis said. “And all four of these men exchanged money for sex.”

At the same press conference, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody labeled cases like one involving the nine arrestees as horrifying and tragic.

“In this heartbreaking case, the trafficker was somebody acting in a guardian/parental role,” she said. “What a more horrifying situation can you imagine for a child?”

The other eight men charged are:

  • Lawrence Edward Kemble, 70, of Ocala, arrested in Marion County (retired postal inspector from Sussex County, N.J.);
  • Matthew Christopher Doyle, 39, Spring Hill, arrested in Hernando County (full-time East Lake Fire Rescue lieutenant and a part-time registered nurse at Bayfront Health Brooksville);
  • Joseph Andrew Easton, 24, Inverness, arrested in Citrus County;
  • Bryan Joseph Giguire, 46, Homosassa, arrested in Citrus County (Southeast Florida regional manager for PowerDMS, a policy management software company);
  • James William Hancock, 67, Delray Beach, arrested in Palm Beach County;
  • Shawn Christopher Henson, 39, Newberry, arrested in Gilchrist County;
  • Latchman Kaladeen, 49, Wesley Chapel, arrested in Pasco County (active ICE detainer);
  • Jason Michael Raulerson, 46, High Springs, arrested in Alachua County.