Sheriff's Office: Operator of Howard Johnson's accused of sexually harassing employees
LAKE GEORGE, NY (WRGB) -- The doors remain locked at the Howard Johnson restaurant in Lake George after the restaurant's operator pleaded not guilty Thursday morning to seven charges, including sexual abuse.
"There are a ton of girls actually."
One alleged victim tells us her former boss, Jonathan LaRock, sexually harassed and assaulted more than a dozen employees.
"He started grabbing my hips and stomach which is really uncomfortable..."
We're keeping the identity of this victim anonymous - but she tells us her first day working at the Howard Johnson in Lake George was just last week. She says she quickly quit because of advances by LaRock.
"The first day I went he was all over me - he called me sexy, babe."
"You just don't talk to women that way, and you don't talk to employees that way, and you certainly don't talk to children that way," Lt. Steven Stockdale with the Warren County Sheriff's department said.
He says investigators got word of the situation on Friday.
"There's a strong social media presence of the allegations that required some footwork ..."
Stockdale says investigators determined LaRock had sexually harassed approximately 15 employees ranging in age from 14 to 43 years old. And he says there may be even more.
"The problem with Lake George is we have a transient employee situation up there," Stockdale said. "There's a lot of kids who were here for the summer from other countries."
Stockdale says they're reaching out to find other employees who may be victims. This morning in court, the judge issued an order of protection against LaRock for four of his victims. He was charged with sexual abuse in the first degree, two counts of unlawful imprisonment, and four counts of endangering the welfare of a child. The alleged victim we spoke to says she wants him in jail for as long as possible.
"What he's done to all these girls, it's ridiculous, it means he could probably do it to little girls."
LaRock was remanded to Warren County Jail on $15,000 bail. He's due back in court on Thursday.