Lawsuit: Restaurant sued over rape of teen by employee
WEBSTER, TX (KTRK) -- A teenager who was sexually assaulted at a restaurant has filed a lawsuit against TGI Friday's, saying the company should have known whom it was hiring.
The attack happened at the TGI Friday's on the Gulf Freeway near Bay Area Boulevard back in 2011. The lawsuit just filed in civil court says TGI Friday's hired a waiter who was a registered sex offender. It alleges the restaurant created an environment where the 17-year-old was attacked just days before her senior prom.
The lawsuit says in May 2011, a 17-year-old girl entered into the TGI Friday's looking to use the phone. Instead, she walked into an afterhours employees party.
Attorney Rusty Hardin said, "They're open after hours, their own manager is there drunk. He's letting other people be there drunk, he's serving people drunk. They offered this 17-year-old girl a drink."
Hardin says a waiter at the restaurant offered the girl his phone, lured her into a bathroom, and raped her while the girl's friend heard the entire attack on the other end of the call. The waiter had a criminal record.
"It turned out, the assailant, who was the employee there, was a registered sex offender. TGI Friday's either did not check him out, or if they did they ignored it," Hardin said.
Court records show Joshua Wade Rooker pled guilty to sexual assault last year and is currently in prison. But Hardin is now suing TGI Friday's for negligence.
In a statement, the restaurant chain said, "We're currently reviewing the allegations contained in the lawsuit and are unable to discuss elements of the filing during this process."
Hardin also argues that a simple internet search would have yielded the background information on the server, and he would like to know if TGI Friday's did a background check at all.
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