Lawsuit: Palatine McDonald's Manager Sexually Assaulted Employees

Manager Alfonso Rojas is accused of pressuring female employees to have sexual contact with him, Courthouse News Service reports.

The manager of a Palatine McDonald's, 1570 E. Northwest Highway, is facing a lawsuit by four female employees who say he sexually assaulted them, according to Ann O'Connell, the lawyer representing the women.

Adriana Cazares, Isabel Pratts who also is known as Alma Perez, Yazmin Rodriguez and Elvira Rodriguez have accused manager Alfonso Rojas of demanding oral intercourse, fondling, digital penetration, and not allowing them to use the restroom until they performed sexual acts on and with him, O'Connell said. 

The four women claim the offenses occurred in the spring and summer of 2012, and filed suit against franchise owners Lawrence and Eileen Kushner, LEK Corporation [owned by the Kushners], and Rojas, in Cook County Court on Jan. 7, O'Connell said.

The allegations were previously brought to the Palatine Police Department in November of 2012, but no criminal charges were filed.

Palatine police Cmdr. Kurt Schroeder said an investigation was conducted in the case, and it was determined there was not enough evidence for the state's attorney to proceed with a successful prosecution. 

Generally speaking, there must be a provable use of force with allegations of sexual assault, Schroeder said, and police were unable to confirm that in this case.

O'Connell said she hired her own investigator. 

"I did have my own investigator, and based on information we found, we believe there was a criminal and sexual assault against all four women," O'Connell said. 

A summons and complaint were served to the Cook County Sheriff's office Monday morning for the Kushner's and LEK Corporation. The sheriff will need to serve Rojas, as he is not being defended by the franchise owners or the corporation they own.

"I also filed against the McDonald's Corporation as a respondent and discovery, which means I have the opportunity to find out if they are vicariously responsible in any way for what happned to my clients," O'Connell said.  

That filing also occurred Monday morning, and O'Connell said it takes up to 54 hours for the case to officially be on record. 

McDonald's said in a prepared statement, "McDonald’s Corporation has not been served with the lawsuit therefore it would be inappropriate to comment." 

O'Connell said she is in the process of subpoenaing video from the fast food restaurant she believes would confirm the accusations of her clients. She stated she has credible witnesses who saw first-hand the offenses Rojas is accused of. 

Phyllis oneill January 15, 2013 at 02:15 AM
Phyllis oneill January 15, 2013 at 02:19 AM
I wont be going there either.....men who do crap like this to high school kids or any other persons should do some serious time, those mgrs and owners should of taken this seriously and fired him on the spot
Chicago Food Guy January 15, 2013 at 03:52 AM
If this scumbag walks away from this, I will never buy from this McDonalds again.
Kelly K January 15, 2013 at 01:18 PM
I had no idea such things were happening at that location! I don't think I'll be going there ever again! The one on Algonquin Rd isn't that far and will be the new location of choice!
Karen Schutz January 15, 2013 at 01:20 PM
What happened to innocent until proven guilty? You're going to punish a business before they even go to trial?
Phyllis oneill January 15, 2013 at 01:27 PM
the scumbag is no longer there im happy to say.....I called there last nite to find out.
Tom Lunde January 15, 2013 at 02:59 PM
Thanks for verifying that.
Chicago Food Guy January 15, 2013 at 03:33 PM
Karen, four girls complained...he's guilty. Too many dirt bags walk away from this every day and never get charged. I'm sure the procedures in place at this location allowed the manager to be alone with these girls, that's wrong. McDonald's/ownership is responsible for a safe work environment, clearly that did not happen here.
Valsy January 15, 2013 at 04:37 PM
I agree.
Valsy January 15, 2013 at 05:09 PM
It is very frustrating that the very places we enjoyed as children and our own children and grandchildren are also enjoying are getting just as dangerous as the schools and churches. No where is safe from these monsters. And shame on McDonald's for not taking this seriously until now.
Craig Apelbaum January 15, 2013 at 06:46 PM
Jail the putz.
Neal January 15, 2013 at 07:03 PM
This is in no way the fault of McDonald's corp, there are criminals and weirdos working everywhere. This guy could use a good neutering and some jail time..
Chicago Food Guy January 15, 2013 at 07:43 PM
There are legal theories in which an employer can be sued, this case falls under at least one of those. Negligent hiring, negligent supervision, negligent training, or negligent retention of the offender are all possibilities. In any of these cases, the employer is liable.
Nelly January 15, 2013 at 08:33 PM
I am done with this place. McDonalds is not doing a great job on their background checks. Hiring sickos! I understand each Mcdonalds is privately owned, but the perv, the owner and the corporation needs to be punished. This is NOT ACCEPTABLE and this case can not be pushed under the rug.
Ellen January 15, 2013 at 11:41 PM
I doubt that things are getting more dangerous. I think people are just more willing to speak up about things like this than they were in the past.
Rick January 18, 2013 at 03:30 AM
So the police found there was not enough evidence to prove this man did anything, and the attorney for the women files a civil suite and does a PR blitz in the media. Hmmm... How do you spell EXTORTION! And shame on the Patch for running a story based on a plantif's attorney- aka "ambulance chaser" You just destroyed a man's life and the credibility of the business owners.
David January 26, 2013 at 04:02 AM
Read the article before making ridiculously acusations. "The allegations were previously brought to the Palatine Police Department in November of '12, but no criminal charges were filed. Palatine police Cmdr. Kurt Schroeder said an investigation was conducted in the case, and it was determined there was not enough evidence for the state's attorney to proceed with a successful prosecution." To everybody slaming the manager, the owners and McDonald's corporation are also accusing the Police commander of Palatine of covering up a crime. Let's see, the police do an investigation and deem there was not enough evidence to file charges. Since the attorney of the four women making the allegations could not get the case brought up in criminal court because THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO BACK UP THERE CLAIMS the attorney for the plaintiffs hired their own investigators to dig up enough evidence to try to squeeze money out of the owners and McDonald's Corp. In America, I thought you are innocent until proven guilty. Anybody with half a brain, who has eaten at that McDonalds and knows how much the owners care about their employees and give back to the community will see this is nothing more than a disgusting money grab by the attorney and her clients. If the manager, owners or McDonald's Corp were guilty they would be sitting in Cook County Jail waiting arraignment and arent b/c there was not enough proof
Cindy January 26, 2013 at 04:26 AM
I have been frequenting the Kushner's McDonald's for almost 20 years. They are 2 of the most lovely, honorable, generous, professional business owners I have ever seen. All of you people who are so quick to place blame on a man who's charges were dismissed because there wasn't any evidence - oh wait, I forgot the ambulance chaser said one of the accusers kids witnessed! That couldn't possibly be a lie, right??? If you google the Kushner's, you can see for yourselves what kind of stand up, self respecting people they are!! They have been giving back to the Palatine community for years!! People hear McDonald's and they see $$$$$$ signs!!! Didn't ever occur to any of you that these 4 women could be joining forces to get money??? I find it very interesting that the police found no proof, and the credible witness that ambulance chaser has is the son of one of the accusers!! Hmmmmmm? It's not rocket science people, educate yourselves before spewing ignorant statements!!
Chicago Food Guy January 26, 2013 at 08:24 PM
Not enough evidence, as is the case with most criminal sexual assault/rape cases. Just because you know the owners, or just because they give money to the community, doesn't mean this incident didn't happen. It's the manager in question, it's the hiring/training procedure in question, it's the procedure in question regarding leaving an adult alone with younger kids/adults...it doesn't take a half a brain to figure that out. It's called public awareness, we have a right to discern information and most certainly have a right to act accordingly. To simply say, "not enough evidence, it didn't happen" and walk away is more harmful then anything. At the very least, management should provide training on how to avoid these situations, report them immediately, etc. I still feel, and have every right to feel this way, that there is some truth to what the girls claimed. Innocent until proven guilty doesn't work the same way in a civil law suit.
Melissa S. February 01, 2013 at 03:46 PM
I personally know one of these victims and she is a wonderful, honest, and generous woman who would give her last dime to someone who needed it more. She is an exceptional person and I am truly disgusted to hear what has actually happened. Please do not support this establishment and demand justice for these women. This is despicable to think that this manager is still employed by the company and possibly doing this to other women!
Cindy February 02, 2013 at 07:54 AM
Maybe you should get your facts straight Melissa. If you read up on your facts before making your false comments, you would know that the manager doesn't work there anymore. Seeing as how your comments are incorrect, it is very understandable that you personally know one of the accusers or victim as you say. I find it despicable that we live in a country where you are guilty until proven innocent. So sad to see all of the uneducated ignorant people that are so easily swayed. For anyone else reading all of the silly and idiotic comments posted to this article, do yourselves a favor, and read the facts and evidence! The FACT is there is NONE!
Chicago Food Guy February 02, 2013 at 05:54 PM
Cindy, that could easily be said about yourself as well. Just because there is no evidence, doesn't mean it didn't happen...as is with MOST sexual assault/rape cases. We don't live in a country where you are guilty until proven innocent...so maybe get your facts straight. And by the way, who said our judicial system is perfect? People walk away even after being prosecuted for a crime. Most cases of crime are repeat offenders. That person that molested a kid probably lives within a mile of you...check it out. So do yourself a favor and educate yourself on what really happens in the real world. One more thing, your third sentence contains two clauses that don't relate to each other...in other words, it doesn't make sense. Sad indeed.
Cindy February 03, 2013 at 04:09 AM
Whew! Thanks Food Guy for enlightening me! It is clear that you have WAY too much time on your hands, judging from all of your comments above. I had wondered what the educational level was of the majority of people commenting. It's crystal clear in your case!! I find ALL of your comments to be laughable at best. Please do everyone favor and keep your idiocy to yourself. Although, I did have quite a good chuckle!! Thanks!!
Chicago Food Guy February 03, 2013 at 03:56 PM
Cindy, you have no idea what my education level is. One thing I know for sure...with two master degrees, it's probably at a higher level than you.
Cindy February 03, 2013 at 05:40 PM
Wrong again!! An M.D. AND Ph.D trumph that!! In case you don't know what that means .....I am more educated than you! As always, thanks for a good laugh! I'm officially done with the childish banter - get a life Food Guy!!
Chicago Food Guy February 03, 2013 at 08:45 PM
Well good for you Cindy! Two masters makes me an "uneducated ignorant" person. I guess with your MD/PhD, that puts you as an elite member of our society and the rest of us peasants don't know any better. As far as childish banter goes, calling people ignorant and uneducated in a forum is about as childish as one can get. Laughter in a serious discussion and telling others to get a life is somewhat juvenile.
Melissa S. February 26, 2013 at 08:08 PM
Wow Cindy, for someone as educated as you claim to be I find it pretty pathetic that you resort to name calling as a defense mechanism. You are acting on the same level as my 9 year old son does with his classmates. TAKE THAT! You are solely basing your opinion on how you feel about the people who own the McDonald's and not leaving any opportunity for doubt. Just because THEY are "good people" does not mean that this didn't happen, you, however are just the ignorant and pompous person who basis the legitimacy of something as horrendous as this on your feelings. Maybe you should go back to school and take some classes to freshen up all those degrees you have because I'm pretty sure all the education you've received wasn't based on feelings. And if you find it despicable to live in a country with a justice system such as ours (guilty till proven innocent) do us a favor and take all your knowledge and degrees elsewhere!
ex employee March 24, 2013 at 05:31 AM
Lol tats Cindy a regional McDonalds superviser she trying protect McDonalds tats all eillen used to bribe her so she pass inspection
ex employee March 24, 2013 at 05:38 AM
Plus tat McDonalds cheats ppl of their checks and hours wrked and truth is he did do sexual things but sum exepted in order to be managers, get better hours, or a better schedule lol only one of those is females innocent and actually harased...
Pamela McCallum August 20, 2013 at 06:41 PM
Pam I am a former employee of the kushners for almost 15 years I have never met two more amazing people they helped me when I needed it they also gave me work ethic I have today .Eileen even helped me make funeral arrangements for my mother . There is no way they knew about any thing like that going on in the restaurant Eileen would never bribe anyone her stores are the cleanest restaurants I have ever been in. You haters should be ashamed of yourselves .I will always love and respect them


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