Chef, owner of popular Lexington BBQ restaurant arrested on sex abuse charge

Willie Love Talley
Willie Love Talley Fayette County Detention Center

A Lexington restaurant owner and chef has been arrested and charged with sex abuse, according to jail records.

Willie Love Talley, 54, was already on the Kentucky sex offender registry after being found guilty in 2003 of two counts of third-degree rape of a 15-year-old, according to court and registry records.

Talley was arrested on Wednesday on a charge of third-degree sex abuse. He is also charged with being a sex offender who filmed or photographed a minor without consent, according to jail records. He's being held in the Fayette County jail on a $6,000 bond, according to the jail website.

Talley, also known as Chef Love Talley, opened a restaurant last year after operating his business, Talley's BBQ, as a tent pop-up. Talley's BBQ built a following that started in April 1998 on the corner of Liberty Road and New Circle Road with one grill and a tent. In Oct. 2017 he opened his restaurant after years of working out of tents, but he still uses outdoor smokers and grills to cook.

Talley's BBQ, which is on Boardwalk, remains open on it's usual schedule.

Sexual violence is a social and public health problem in the U.S. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey says nearly 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men experienced sexual violence victimization other than rape at some point in their lives.