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Owner of last Howard Johnson restaurant charged with sexual abuse (w/video)

The Howard Johnson Inn and Restaurant is seen in Bangor, Maine, in 2015. One of the last two Howard Johnson restaurants closed on Sept. 6, 2016. [Associated Press]
The Howard Johnson Inn and Restaurant is seen in Bangor, Maine, in 2015. One of the last two Howard Johnson restaurants closed on Sept. 6, 2016. [Associated Press]
Published Oct. 12, 2017

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

The Warren County Sheriff's Deputy 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 is being held pending arraignment Thursday. It couldn't be determined if he has a lawyer.

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