The manager of a Florida Pizza Hut is accused of cornering one of his teenage employees in a bathroom and sexually assaulting her, police said.
The 16-year-old employee began working at a Pizza Hut in Kissimmee a few weeks ago and just started her junior year of high school, Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez said in an Aug. 31 news conference.
From the time of her application, the manager, Calvin Cooke, 31, began talking with her and flirting with her, the sheriff said.
In the following weeks, the manager began sending her sexually explicit images on Snapchat, according to the sheriff, and gave the teen an e-cigarette.
The sheriff said the manager was aware that the employee was underage.
On Aug. 26, the employee told deputies Cooke had asked her to go into the women’s bathroom to clean, the sheriff said.
When she went inside the bathroom, her manager followed and then shut the door, he said.
“While in the bathroom, he committed sex acts upon the victim,” the sheriff said.
A young male employee saw the two go into the bathroom and became suspicious, Lopez said. Then, when the employee’s parents came to pick up their daughter, they were told something had happened and the sheriff’s office was called, Lopez said.
The teen told deputies she was worried about making her manager mad and thought she might lose her job if she didn’t engage with him, the sheriff said.
Cooke was taken into custody and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, unlawful sexual activity with a minor, transmitting information harmful to minors, and unlawful use of a two-way communication device, according to the sheriff’s office.
The sheriff said the manager had been in his role as a supervisor with the Pizza Hut chain for seven months but was only recently transferred to the Kissimmee location. He is no longer employed there, according to the sheriff.
“Pizza Hut takes these allegations very seriously and has been in contact with the franchisee who owns and operates the restaurant at issue,” a Pizza Hut spokesperson told McClatchy News in a statement. “The franchisee has made the decision to terminate the manager while they continue to cooperate with the local authorities in their investigation.”
There may be more victims, the sheriff said, and anyone who has been victimized by the manager is encouraged to contact the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.
“I just want to caution parents. I understand as parents we want our children to get jobs and prepare them for the future workplace so they can learn responsibility. That is a good thing,” the sheriff said. “But please pay attention to what your children are doing online … people like (the manager) exist, and they are looking for an opportunity to take advantage of your children.” (4:30)
Kissimmee is about 25 miles south of Orlando.