AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) – A man convicted of setting a Maine topless coffee shop on fire, destroying the business and endangering seven people, is going to prison for 30 years.
Fifty-one-year-old Raymond Bellavance Jr. didn’t speak at his sentencing on Thursday. He has maintained his innocence and contends he was railroaded.
Prosecutors say he set the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop in Vassalboro on fire because his former girlfriend was having a relationship with the owner of the business, where topless waitresses worked.
A judge says she imposed the maximum sentence under state law because it was “sheer luck” no one was killed and because of Bellavance’s criminal record.
The building formerly operated as a motel. Seven people, including two infants, were living in it when the fire broke out in June 2009.
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