LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — National pizza company Sbarro is denying allegations brought forth in a federal lawsuit from a once-undocumented immigrant who is suing her former boss and the company over claims he repeatedly sexually assaulted her and threatened her with deportation at a restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip.
As the 8 News Now I-Team first reported Wednesday, the federal trial over claims of sex discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation began in U.S. District Court on Monday. In court documents, Sandra Perez claims the manager at the now-closed Sbarro inside the Monte Carlo hotel raped her on a weekly basis inside the location’s walk-in cooler.
If she did not comply, her boss would alert immigration authorities about his employee’s undocumented status, the lawsuit claims. The Monte Carlo is now the Park MGM.
“Sbarro strongly denies and rejects the claims presented in your interview with Sandra Perez and her attorney, claims which have been disputed over the past six years since the allegations were first presented to us,” David Karam, Sbarro’s CEO, said in an email Thursday. “This ongoing dispute has culminated in a trial that is currently taking place in federal court in Las Vegas. We find it very inappropriate and unprofessional to publicly discuss a case in the middle of a trial and therefore we’ll leave our denial to speak for itself.”
The I-Team had requested comment on the case from Sbarro, its attorneys and attorneys for the former manager on Monday.
According to the complaint, much of the alleged abuse happened inside the restaurant’s walk-in cooler, where the lawsuit claims the manager had access to lock the door from the inside.
Exhibits in the lawsuit include depositions from the manager, Perez, Perez’s family members and other potential witnesses.
“When you were having sex with Sandra in the cooler, did you have as the manager of the store any concerns about the food safety issues associated with having sex in the cooler?” a lawyer asked the manager in a deposition.
“No,” the manager responded, saying the sex was consensual.
In 2018, the Nevada Equal Rights Commission confirmed Perez’s allegation of a “sexually hostile work environment,” effectively allowing her to sue.
Attorneys for Perez filed a motion for a mistrial in the case Wednesday over claims made in court regarding Perez’s immigration status.
Perez has since obtained a Green Card since her 2016 employment with Sbarro, she said.