Robert Iacobellis appears in court Friday afternoon for sentencing. Also pictured (at right) Iacobellis’ attorney Julie Effenbeck. (Photo by Brandon Peoples/KMAN)

A former Manhattan restaurant owner has been sentenced to 24 and a half years in prison on two counts of rape.

Robert Iacobellis appeared in court Friday as Judge Kendra Lewison sealed his fate, granting a motion to depart to the grid, sentencing him to 147 months on each count, to be served consecutively, for a total of 294 months. The 64-year-old entered into an Alford plea in April 2022, maintaining his innocence but admitting to prosecutors that evidence would likely result in a guilty verdict if brought to trial.

At the plea hearing, five people spoke on behalf of the former Bob’s Diner owner, including his two daughters, Elizabeth King and Jamie Berges, the latter testifying in support of her father from the Pottawatomie County Jail, where she’s currently incarcerated. One of the three victims, who was 7 at the time Iacobellis began abusing her, provided a victim impact statement, noting the abuse occurred on numerous occasions. That victim is now 19 years old.

Robert Iacobellis looks on in court Friday at his sentencing hearing on rape convictions. (Photo by Brandon Peoples/KMAN)

Iacobellis was initially arrested in August 2019 on charges of rape and aggravated indecent liberties with a child. He was eventually charged with 27 total counts involving three victims, and ultimately convicted on two rape charges.

The case was delayed several times, partially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also due to unsuccessful attempts by Iacobellis to hire his own attorneys as well as disagreements with his appointed counsel and an unsuccessful attempt to withdraw his Alford plea.