Owner of last HoJo’s restaurant charged with sexual abuse

LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (AP) — The owner of the nation’s last Howard Johnson restaurant has been charged with sexually abusing or harassing more than a dozen employees of his upstate New York business.

The Warren County sheriff’s office announced Wednesday that 65-year-old Jonathan LaRock was arrested on charges of sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment and endangering the welfare of a child.

Deputies say the investigation started last week after a 17-year-old girl told police she had been sexually harassed by LaRock while working at his eatery in Lake George, a popular Adirondack tourist destination 55 miles (88 kilometers) north of Albany.

Police say he sexually harassed about 15 female employees ranging in age from 14 to 43 over a one-year period.

LaRock pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Thursday and was remanded to the county jail. The public defender’s office wasn’t commenting on the charges.

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This story has been corrected to show the source of the information was the Warren County sheriff’s office, not the Warren County sheriff’s deputy.

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