Second alleged survivor of assault at Barrie fast-food eatery shares her story
BARRIE, ONT. -- Warning: Some readers may find details in this story to be distressing or triggering.
A 47-year-old Barrie, Ont. fast-food restaurant operator faces charges following allegations of sexual assault, and since his arrest, police say more victims have come forward.
'Kate,' a girl whose identity is protected by court order, sat down with CTV News to share her story of alleged abuse that she says went on for months at the hands of her boss.
"It's disgusting," says Kate's mom. "It makes me angry, and frustrated, and sad."
The man accused operated two Subway shops, one at Minet's Point and another near Yonge Street and Big Bay Point Road in the city's south end.
In a statement, Subway restaurant wrote, "We are committed to providing a safe environment for all employees and guests, and any breach of these standards is taken very seriously.
Subway Restaurants will support the police in their investigation and will take necessary action, which may include terminating the franchise agreement."
Kate says her boss took a special interest in her dating life and over-shared his own.
"Very sexual things about any girl he's been with," she says. "He'd tell me the stories, and he'd be very graphic about it."
Kate says he eventually began touching her when they were alone in the store. "He called it, like a massage. And he'd just massage my shoulders."
She says he used her workouts to justify the massages. "He would say, I'm too tight in this area, but in my head, it didn't make sense because the areas he was touching weren't areas that you work out at the gym."
Kate says she realized things had crossed a line when the massages went further. "It was under the clothes. And when he made me do things to him. It wasn't a massage because I was doing it to him too."
She admits she kept the alleged abuse a secret, frightened by what her boss regularly told the staff around the eatery.
"He would just tell me stories about how him and his friends can kill people or make people disappear," she says.
Then she says he presented her with a piece of paper. "He wrote something about consent on it and then made me sign, and he told me, he's like, 'I can't get in trouble for this now.'"
While listening to her daughter, Kate's mother held back sobs. "The idea that somebody hurts your child, in any way, but especially this way..." she says.
None of the allegations have been tested or proven in court.
MORE VICTIMS POSSIBLE
Police stated in a release they "strongly believe that there may be additional victims who may have worked at two franchises of a fast-food restaurant that have been operated by the accused over the past 13 years."
Kate hopes to encourage survivors of sexual assault to share their stories. "No matter what the person's telling you," she says. "But I know what it's like though, to not say anything because I know what it's like to be manipulated."
Stephen Lemmond, 47, faces charges of sexual assault and sexual exploitation in connection with the alleged incidents involving Kate and another complainant. An assault charge has been laid in connection with a third complainant.
The accused has been released from police custody with a surety.
While out on bail, Lemmond cannot have contact with a handful of people, he cannot possess a weapon, he cannot attend a Subway location in Barrie, and he cannot be in the company of a female under the age of 18 unless a surety is present.
Police say the allegations are both recent and historical, adding Lemmond has operated businesses in the city's south end since 2008.
His next court appearance is set for July 19.
Police ask anyone with information or who may be a victim to contact Det. Const. Melanie Beard at 705-725-7025 x 2582 or by email.
If you or someone you know may be a victim of sexual assault, find help here.