HUFFMAN, Texas – A lawsuit was filed in Harris County on Monday on behalf of a minor who claims her protests were ignored after she reportedly was repeatedly abused and sexually assaulted by her former shift supervisor at a Dairy Queen restaurant in Huffman, in Texas.
According to law firm The Simpson Tuegel, the lawsuit was filed v. American Dairy Queen Corporation, Elite Restaurant Group, Inc., LoneStar DQ affiliate (collectively, the defendants of Dairy Queen), and Joshua Flores, 28, convicted sex offender.
The plaintiff, who is referred to as Jane Doe in the complaint to protect her identity, alleges that the defendants employed Flores despite his well-documented history of sexual harassment, unwanted touching and inappropriate behavior while employed at previous jobs.
She also claims that on numerous occasions, Flores locked her in the bathroom, choked her, and forcibly kissed her.
After weeks of these reported incidents, Flores violently sexually assaulted her and threatened to harm her and her family if she told anyone about the abuse, according to the victim’s lawyers.
The victim said she told another manager about the abuse and was told to write down what happened on a piece of paper. The lawsuit alleges that the manager then placed the card in a drawer and failed to report the sexual assault of the minor to the authorities, as required by law in the state of Texas.
The young woman was finally able to tell her mother about the attack and report it to the police. As a result, in the summer of 2022, Flores was criminally charged and is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for aggravated sexual assault of a child.
Michelle Simpson Tuegel, a nationally recognized victims’ rights attorney representing the plaintiff, released a statement that read, in part:
“Dairy Queen and her franchisee have failed this young girl spectacularly, and it is important that underage workers are protected from older, older employees in the workplace.
“Unfortunately, this case is not an isolated incident, but rather emblematic of a wider problem within the restaurant industry. It is our hope that this lawsuit will not only provide some semblance of justice for our client, but also shed light on the urgent need for additional child protections in the workplace.
“No child should be sexually abused and for our client to find the courage to report only to be met with indifference is even more devastating. While nothing can heal the trauma this young woman continues to suffer from, we believe it is justice to be served by holding all parties accountable for the role they played in this heinous crime.
KPRC 2 contacted the defendants/company for a response. We will update the item once received.
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