Duluth restaurateur pleads guilty to child sexual assault
The agreement resolves two cases for William Kalligher, who was set to face a jury this week.
DULUTH — The former owner of a West Duluth restaurant has pleaded guilty to two felony counts of child sexual abuse.
William Arthur Kalligher, 62, entered guilty pleas Monday in State District Court to first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct. The resolution came just one day before jury selection was to get underway in the first of two potential trials for the Duluth man known as the owner of the now-shuttered Gannucci's Italian Market.
Court records indicate the pleas both relate to misconduct toward a girl who was approximately 13-14 years old at the time of the incidents. A second case had alleged misconduct toward a boy when he was about 9 or 10. Kalligher faced a total of seven felony counts prior to reaching the agreement with the St. Louis County Attorney's Office.
Kalligher was first charged in December 2021 after police said they were alerted to "numerous sexual assault allegations" in summer 2021.
The female victim reportedly told investigators that Kalligher had taken off her clothes and touched her. She said Kalligher would be "high on marijuana" at the time and that the touching occurred on at least three occasions, according to a criminal complaint. In the other case, it was alleged that he exposed himself.
Under state sentencing guidelines, a first-degree criminal sexual conduct conviction generally carries a presumptive prison term of at least 12 years for a first-time offender. The precise terms of Kalligher's agreement were not immediately available.
Judge David Johnson ordered Kalligher to comply with a presentence investigation and psychosexual evaluation. He scheduled sentencing for June 12.
Kalligher worked as a professional cook and operated a refrigeration business before taking over the family-run Italian Village business at 301 N. Central Ave. in 2011 and turning it into Gannucci's. But Kalligher, who had previously expressed plans to reopen the pandemic-shuttered business, quietly closed shop permanently by August 2021 — a decision confirmed only by a liquidation sale announced by an auction house.
Kalligher has remained free since posting a $120,000 bond shortly after his arrest and arraignment.
To get help
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911.
National Sexual Assault Hotline:24/7 hotline: 800-656-4673
Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse (CASDA):serves Duluth, Superior and Ashland, Bayfield and Douglas counties; 24/7 hotline 800-649-2921; submit a help request at casda.org/get-help
Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault (PAVSA):serves southern St. Louis County; 24/7 hotline 218-726-1931
Sexual Assault Program of Northern St. Louis County:serves northern St. Louis County; 24/7 hotline 800-300-3102
Family Pathways:serves Carlton and Pine counties; 24/7 hotline 800-338-7233
Support Within Reach:serves Aitkin and Itasca counties; hotline 866-747-5008
North Shore Horizons:serves Lake County; 24/7 hotline 218-834-5924
Violence Prevention Center:serves Cook County; 24/7 hotline 218-387-1237
Friends Against Abuse:serves Koochiching County; 24/7 hotline 888-344-3264
Fond du Lac Reservation:24/7 hotline 218-348-1817
Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa:Grand Portage Human Services 218-475-2453
Bois Forte Tribal Government–Victim Services Program:emergency cell 218-248-0067