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October 19, 2013

Eatery owner: Workers not fired in retaliation

ROUSES POINT — The owners of Angelo’s Pizza & Grill in Rouses Point say they were wrongfully added to a lawsuit that alleged the former owners subjected seven employees to sexual abuse.

Kostas Kefalas and his wife, Alessandra, own Kefalas Enterprises, the company that now owns Angelo’s.

He said he was made responsible for allegations of abuse in which he was not involved.

“Our corporation didn’t exist at the time of the allegation (of abuse).”

Kefalas said the three men who previously owned the restaurant can only afford to pay $5,000 of the $35,000 settlement the women will receive, so Kefalas Enterprises has to pay the $30,000 balance of total $35,000 amount.

The previous owners of Angelo’s are Kefalas’s mother’s siblings, he said.

LAWSUIT FILED

The seven women alleged Kostantinos Raptis, Nikolaos Raptis and their brother-in-law Andrew Xenos, groped their breasts and buttocks and made sexually explicit propositions and comments, including requests for sexual acts, the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) said in a news release.

The commission says the abuse happened from January 2005 through September 2012.

That agency filed a complaint against the restaurant on Aug. 21, 2011, according to court documents.

The three men were uncooperative in providing their business records to the commission, according to court records.

The court received a letter on Oct. 17, 2012, from the former owners’ lawyer, saying his client had instructed him “to spend no further time defending this litigation.”

The court was also notified that the business’s assets were sold to Kefalas Enterprises for $50,000.

‘IGNORANT OF SUIT’

In court documents, the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission alleged Kefalas Enterprises knew of its contingent legal liability when the business changed hands on or about Oct. 1, 2012.

In an answer, Kefalas Enterprises said it “knew of a pending lawsuit but did not know the specifics or details of that lawsuit.”

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