Woman alleges Waffle House CEO demanded sex acts
Friday, November 9, 2012
ATLANTA (AP) — A former female employee has filed a police complaint alleging the CEO of Waffle House demanded she perform sexual acts on him in exchange for keeping her job.
The woman told Atlanta police the alleged harassment by Joseph Rogers Jr. lasted for nearly 10 years, from 2003 through June of this year. The Associated Press does not identify alleged victims of sexual harassment.
David Cohen, who identified himself as a lawyer representing the woman, told the AP that the man cited in the police report is the CEO of Waffle House, a company based in metro Atlanta. And the home address given for Rogers in the police report matches that listed on the Federal Election Commission's website alongside donations the CEO made to unsuccessful presidential candidate Mitt Romney in June 2011 and May of this year.
Police would not confirm that the Joseph Rogers Jr. cited in their report is the CEO. They said Thursday that they are investigating the allegations, but no charges have been filed. A lawyer for Rogers did not return a telephone call and email from the AP on Thursday.
The police report quotes the woman as saying that Rogers tried to force her to have sex with him despite her repeated protests. She said that he also touched her breasts, tried to remove her clothes, made lewd comments, and insisted she perform sex acts on him at least once or twice a month. The woman, who identified herself as a single mother, told police she stayed in the job and endured the alleged harassment because she couldn't find other employment with comparable pay. She said she gave Rogers a letter of resignation in June after her son secured a full college scholarship.
The woman filed her complaint after walking into an Atlanta police precinct about midnight on Sept. 28, according to the police report. Cohen said he couldn't comment further on the case because of a judge's order.
The Marietta Daily Journal reported that Rogers sued the woman in Cobb County Superior Court on Sept. 14, but that the documents had been sealed and both sides agreed not to speak to the news media. The newspaper added that the woman filed a lawsuit against Rogers in Fulton County State Court on Sept. 19, but documents in that case were also sealed.
Robert Ingram, whom the newspaper identified as a lawyer for Rogers, did not return a telephone call and email from the AP on Thursday evening. The newspaper quoted Ingram as saying that Rogers' "version of events is much different" than the woman's.
No one answered a cellphone listed to Rogers and a phone number listed for Waffle House's headquarters rang unanswered.
Associated Press writer Russ Bynum contributed to this report.
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