COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A longtime manager of a Lakeview chicken restaurant has been charged with sexually assaulting an employee inside the eatery's basement.
Carlos Ortiz, 40, admitted to getting the victim drunk before assaulting her at Chicken Hut, 3200 N. Broadway, early Thursday, Assistant State's Attorney Marilyn Salas-Wail said during a bond hearing Friday.
Restaurant staff declined to comment.
According to prosecutors, Ortiz is a manager at Chicken Hut and has been with the company for roughly 20 years. After work Wednesday, he and several employees had beers inside the restaurant about 10 p.m., authorities said.
Ortiz is accused of giving the 20-year-old victim multiple margaritas over the course of the evening. After other co-workers left, Ortiz and the woman continued to drink, prosecutors said.
The pair headed to a local park, where they had more alcohol, before returning to Chicken Hut so that the woman could use a restroom, Salas-Wail said.
That's when Ortiz led the victim to the basement, according to prosecutors.
Portions of the incident were captured on surveillance footage. Salas-Wail said that the victim was unable to walk down the stairs by herself.
Ortiz made the woman another drink before kissing her and trying to remove her clothing, according to police and prosecutors. The woman said "no" multiple times, according to the allegations. At that point, her arms were flopping, her head dangled and her hair covered her face, Salas-Wail said.
Ortiz then brought the woman to a portion of the basement that was hidden from surveillance cameras, prosecutors said. He is accused of taking the woman's cellphone and sexually assaulting her.
The woman told police she blacked out for part of the attack and awoke to find her pants undone and her shirt open, according to an arrest report.
As soon as the woman got back her cellphone, Salas-Wail said, she called her sister and reported what happened.
The victim's brother-in-law and police met the woman at Chicken Hut, where Ortiz was arrested about 1 a.m. Thursday, records show. He confessed to drinking with the woman, getting her drunk and assaulting her, prosecutors said.
The victim was taken to a local hospital, where a rape kit was collected.
Ortiz, of the 2900 block of North Kostner Avenue, is charged with criminal sexual assault. Cook County Judge Donald Panarese Jr. on Friday set bail at $250,000.
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