Waffle House CEO accused of sex harassment
Police investigate claims of former assistant
A former personal assistant of Waffle House's CEO accused him of forcing her to "perform sexual services," among other degrading acts, during her nine years of working for him, according to an Atlanta police report.
Police blacked out the woman's name in the report, but gave a graphic account of her accusation, based on an interview that she gave Atlanta police on September 28. CNN obtained a copy of the police report Friday, as news of the allegations against Joseph Rogers Jr. spread around the media.
Efforts Friday by CNN to reach Rogers, whose father co-founded the Georgia-based 24-hour-diner chain were not successful. Similarly, CNN was unable to reach the man believed to be his lawyer.
Atlanta police did not elaborate on to what extent they've been able to verify the woman's claims, with Sgt. Gregory Lyon saying, "I can tell you that this is an open and ongoing investigation."
His accuser told police that, starting in 2003, she had worked out of Rogers' house as his assistant handling personal and work-related items.
Within months of her hiring, the woman said Rogers "on numerous occasions (tried) to force himself upon (her), attempted to have her perform oral sex on him (and) attempted to have sex with (her)," according to the police report.
She refused, but in 2003 and subsequent years, "Rogers required (his assistant) as a condition of her employment to masturbate him," the report said.
The police describe other allegations of sexually inappropriate acts as well, including Rogers making the woman buy pornography, frequently appearing naked in front of her, and touching her body and breasts, which he called "the girls."
The accuser "was forced to endure the harassment and demeaning treatment by Rogers because she was a single mother and needed her job to support herself and her son," according to police.
On June 29, after her son graduated high school and earned a scholarship to college, she put her resignation letter in Rogers' "sock drawer in an effort to spare Rogers' wife from pain and humiliation," police said.
It was not clear why the accuser took so long after she had left her job to contact police. No charges have been filed in the case.
Since the opening of its first restaurant in the Atlanta suburb of Avondale in 1955, Waffle House has become a culinary staple of the South with more than 1,500 restaurants that are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is known for its signature yellow signage, jukebox music and breakfast offerings.
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