Warren County

Lake George restaurateur indicted, pleads not guilty

Among the charges filed was one felony count of first-degree sexual abuse

LAKE GEORGE — A prominent Lake George businessman arrested last fall on sexual misconduct charges pleaded not guilty Wednesday to an indictment handed up in the case, according to Gazette newsgathering partner CBS6.

Jonathan L. LaRock, 65, appeared in Warren County Court on the new eight-count indictment charging him with sexual abuse and forcible touching, CBS6 wrote.

The judge continued his release on $30,000 bond.

LaRock was once widely hailed for reopening the Lake George Howard Johnson’s, but a woman’s Facebook post last year touched off an investigation that led to his arrest.

He was accused of sexually harassing more than a dozen female employees ranging in age from 14 to 43 years old over a span of at least June 2016 to July 2017, Warren County Sheriff’s officials have said.

Among the charges filed was one felony count of first-degree sexual abuse. LaRock was accused of grabbing an 18-year-old woman in October 2016 and kissing her neck, according to court documents filed earlier.

When she turned to walk away, documents say, LaRock grabbed both her breasts with his hands and rubbed his groin area against her buttocks. He then held “onto her for an extended period of time while she struggled to get away,” documents read.

LaRock reopened the Howard Johnson’s property in January 2015, leasing the site and restoring the interior. He and the location gained notoriety, first as one of the few Howard Johnson’s restaurants left, then as the only Howard Johnson’s restaurant left.

The Gazette featured the reopening in June 2015. Eater.com featured it in February 2017. In its article, Eater.com referenced the month of its visit: October 2016, the same month as at least two of the allegations against LaRock.

The restaurant remained closed Wednesday, CBS6 reported.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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