Humble restaurant employees accused of sexually assaulting teenage girls

By Keith Garvin - Anchor/Reporter

HUMBLE, Texas - A KFC restaurant in Humble sells world famous fried chicken but one of two lawsuits refers to it as the "Candy Store" -- a place where former managers and employees allowed, and in several cases, took part in the sexual assault and exploitation of two underage girls who worked here.

"The manager and other managers at that location cultivated an environment that allowed for the older cooks and workers to victimize these young girls," says Chavon Carr, an attorney representing one of the girls.

The lawsuits filed say both girls were 16 years old at the time -- and both say a then-35 year old manager played a role.

With one of the minors -- one lawsuit claims the manager had sex with her for a year and a half at the restaurant, at hotels, and other locations. The second lawsuit claims the manager looked the other way when an employee tried to rape the other 16-year-old plaintiff.

According to attorney Allen Zwernemann, "There was an instance where she was trapped in a restroom and an attempted rape occurred and she barely escaped with her life."

And the attorneys for the two teenaged girls hold KFC and its parent company responsible -- saying corporate leadership should've known about the manager's predatory behavior.

"You really need to make sure you have a kind of environment where children in our community can feel safe," adds Zwernemann, "and parents can be reassured that their children are not going to be attacked by a cook or manager or anyone in that capacity."

Channel 2 did reach out to KFC's corporate headquarters and received this statement from a spokesperson:

"We cannot comment on pending litigation, but we are committed and work hard to provide a safe and respectful work environment for our employees."

These are civil lawsuits. One of them seeks at least $5.6 million in damages and at least $1 million in punitive damages.

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