Lake George Howard Johnson’s restaurant owner arrested on sex abuse charges

LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The owner of the Howard Johnson’s Restaurant in Lake George was arrested on charges accusing him of forcibly touching and restraining employees.

Jonathan LaRock, 65, of Moreau, was arrested on one count of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, two counts of Unlawful Imprisonment, and four counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child.

“He would not leave my side, he followed me wherever I walked to, I wouldn’t even go to the bathroom I was afraid he would follow me in.”

According to police, a 17-year-old female contacted the Warren County Sheriff’s Office regarding alleged sexual harassment at the restaurant by LaRock, her former employer.

“He started like calling me sexy, babe and princess and he knew my age. He did kiss me on the cheek out of nowhere…he said mwah and kissed me on the cheek. Further on in the day, he started grabbing my hips and my stomach and asking if I had nudes on my phone.”

She says after about four hours on the job, she called her grandparents to come and get her and left in tears.

“He’s like I’ll see you tomorrow. I’m like no sorry.”

An investigation determined LaRock had sexually harassed approximately 15 female employees ranging in age from 14 to 43 years old. Several of the victims were interviewed and charges were filed.

As LaRock was being escorted into court, he declined to comment on the allegations.

Police claim LaRock forcibly subjected an employee to unwanted sexual contact, restrained employees against their will, and made inappropriate suggestions, some sexual in nature, and offered drugs and alcohol to several employees under the age of 17.

The allegations date back to June of 2016 up until July of this year.

The investigation is ongoing.

LaRock was sent back to jail on $15,000 bail. He is due back in court on October 19.

Anyone with information regarding the allegations against LaRock should contact police at (518) 743-2500.

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