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Upper West Side Restaurant Owner Accused of Fondling Waitress

Tandoori restaurant, at 210 W. 94th St.
Tandoori restaurant, at 210 W. 94th St.
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DNAinfo/Fred Dreier

UPPER WEST SIDE — The owner of an Upper West Side Indian restaurant was arrested for sexually abusing one of his waitresses, police said.

Tara Gill, 56, of Jackson Heights, allegedly fondled the breasts of the waitress at Tandoori Restaurant, at 210 W. 94th St. near Amsterdam Avenue, according to police, who arrested him Wednesday night.

Gill was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court Thursday and was charged with forcible touching and sexual abuse from an incident stemming from April, according to the criminal complaint.

Faced with a temporary order of protection against him on behalf of the woman, Gill was released without bail.

The woman told DNAinfo.com New York that Gill repeatedly sexually abused or verbally harassed over the three years she's been working at Tandoori. Athough she and her husband had threatened Gill that they would go to police after he allegedly fondled her breast three months ago, they kept quiet until another alleged incident occured on Tuesday night.

The woman claimed that when she approached Gill about taking a few days for vacation after her shift ended about 10:20 p.m. Tuesday night, he began rubbing his crotch and asked her if she would instead take a vacation with him.

"When I said no he started yelling at me 'You are not a good worker! You are not good! I know how to fix you!," said the woman.

The woman's husband, who helped her translate, also said it was not an isolated incident. Besides their allegation of the groping incident during a shift three months ago, Gill harassed her verbally, on multiple occasions suggesting the two have sex while her husband was at work, he claimed.

The charges against Gill only included the alleged incident from three months ago.

Gill didn't say anything in court, but had told police, "I didn't do anything. She's mad because she wasn't paid for two weeks," prosecutors said.

His lawyer, Steve Ginsberg, said something similar after the court appearance: "As far as I know this was just a pay dispute."

A manager at the restaurant said Gill and the woman have had a bad working relationship during her three years at Tandoori.

They had quarreled in the past, the manager added, though it was unclear what, if anything, preceded the alleged attack.