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Da Silvano Owner Says He's Too Old, Weak to Commit Sexual Assault

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By Andrew Chow, Esq. on January 26, 2012 6:02 AM

A New York restaurant owner accused of sexually assaulting a man is dishing out a defense: He's too old and weak to grope.

Silvano Marchetto, 65, owner of the famous Da Silvano Italian restaurant in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, is fighting a federal lawsuit that alleges assault and battery, the New York Post reports.

The lawsuit describes two incidents in which Marchetto allegedly grabbed a younger man's genitals. But Marchetto's response to the suit describes himself as too decrepit to get away with such a dastardly deed.

The suit accusing the Da Silvano owner of sexual assault takes place at a Manhattan parking garage. In the first incident, Silvano Marchetto allegedly "rubbed plaintiff [Samuel] Cruz's penis with his hand," then jumped into a car and drove off, the lawsuit states.

Marchetto came back for a second helping of penis-rubbing on another occasion, the suit states. "This sexual assault was much more severe than the last, as defendant Marchetto actually grabbed and held onto plaintiff Cruz's penis, refusing to let go," the suit says, according to the Post.

Both encounters left Cruz feeling "degraded, victimized, embarrassed, and emotionally distressed," the suit states, adding Cruz "was also in real fear for his personal safety."

That can't be true, Silvano Marchetto says in court filings. Marchetto claims he has "health problems, bad knees and has even suffered a stroke."

In light of Marchetto's health issues, it's hard to believe Cruz "could not defend himself" against an alleged assault by an old, weak man, Marchetto's response states.

Still, Marchetto was apparently able-bodied enough to appear on a reality cable-TV show last year, as this clip from Bravo's "Rocco's Dinner Party" shows:

Cruz's sex-assault lawsuit also accuses Silvano Marchetto of gender discrimination, the Post reports -- but it's not clear what the discrimination charge is based on.

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