Joseph Rogers Jr., chairman of the Waffle House restaurant chain, is accused of sexually harassing a woman who worked for him as his personal aide and housekeeper, according to a police report published online on Friday.
ATLANTA – A Georgia woman has accused the chairman of the Waffle House restaurant chain of sexually harassing her for close to a decade while working as his personal aide and housekeeper.
The allegations against Joseph Rogers Jr. were detailed in a police incident report published online on Friday by the Marietta Daily Journal.
The Atlanta police report, dated Sept. 28, 2012, included lurid accusations of repeated sexual harassment from 2003, when the woman said she began to work for him, to May 2012.
David Cohen, a Marietta, Georgia, lawyer, told Reuters on Friday that he was one of the attorneys representing the woman and confirmed that she had filed the police report.
Cohen said his client had been sued by Rogers in a local court on Sept. 14. His client filed a lawsuit against Rogers in a different court on Sept. 19. Those cases are currently under seal and Reuters could not determine what allegations they contain.
"Waffle House is not a party to the case, its chairman is the party to the case," Cohen said, but declined further comment because of a court order barring him from speaking publicly about the cases.
Robert Ingram, a lawyer for Rogers, did not immediately return a call seeking comment. A representative for the Atlanta Police Department did not respond to a request for comment.
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.
A spokesman for Waffle House said in a statement that "the alleged victim is a former housekeeper for Joe Rogers, and not an employee of Waffle House." The spokesman, Pat Warner, said Rogers had transitioned from being chief executive to chairman of the restaurant chain earlier this year.
The Norcross, Georgia-based Waffle House chain has more 1,500 locations in the Southern United States that are notable for being open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Rogers was a prominent Republican supporter in Georgia of Mitt Romney's failed presidential bid.
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 "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," the report said.
The woman, identified as being 43 and from Acworth, Georgia, said she formally resigned from Rogers' employment in June, after her son had received a full college scholarship.