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Rape charge against Federal Hill restaurant manager dropped

Sexual AssaultJustice SystemTheftNew Year's Day

The Baltimore state's attorney's office dropped rape and other charges brought against a Federal Hill restaurant manager in an alleged New Year's Eve attack, online records show.

A patron said Matthew Lasinski, 29, a manager at Blue Agave Restaurante, sexually assaulted her in a bathroom there. But the restaurant posted on its Facebook page that it had video evidence that would clear Lasinski.

Reached at work by phone, Lasinski said Thursday that he was pleased the charges had been dropped but didn't know the reason.

"They just dismissed charges," he said.

Mark Cheshire, a spokesman for the state's attorney's office, said the investigation into the incident is continuing.

"As a consequence, I can't discuss it publicly," he said.

Lasinski was taken into custody New Year's Day and charged with second-degree rape, fourth-degree sex offense and assault charges, after a woman contacted police early that morning to report an attack.

She told police she went to the restaurant in the 1000 block of Light St. for something to eat, and though the kitchen was closed, stayed for drinks. The woman said Lasinski started to assault her but stopped when another customer came into the bathroom, police said. That customer put her into a taxi to a hospital.

Lasinski was part of a team that took over the restaurant last year, according to a neighborhood newsletter.

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