The owner of two Taco Ole restaurants has surrendered to authorities to face charges of sexual assault and other offenses. 49-year-old Elias Bazan III has been accused of sexually assaulting and threatening his employees at Taco Ole on West Freddy Gonzalez Drive. The Bazan family owns Taco Ole restaurants in both Edinburg and Mission.
According to the police, women who worked at Taco Ole told them that Bazan demanded sex from employees and attacked them when they refused. One employee said that Bazan threatened her over her status as an undocumented immigrant.
The first complaint about Bazan is from September 2017, when an employee of Taco Ole filed a police report alleging that Bazan had threatened her with a kitchen knife. Police did not arrest Bazan.
The most recent complaints are from December 2018 when an employee came forward with allegations of sexual assault. This employee said that Bazan began harassing her in December 2016, shortly after she became a supervisor. He allegedly forced her to perform oral sex in 2017.
A second employee told a similar story of sexual assault. This employee said that in November 2018, she went to collect napkins in the buffet room when Bazan cornered her there and forced her to perform oral sex.
Bazan has been charged with three counts of sexual assault - a second-degree felony, and one count of making a terroristic threat - a Class B misdemeanor.
Attorney contributor Marc Lenahan is an experienced sexual assault survivors lawyer who helps survivors find justice in civil lawsuits. Here is some input from Marc regarding the legal options available to survivors of workplace sexual assault:
We all deserve to be treated with respect in the workplace. But unfortunately, some workplaces are toxic environments with problems like sexual harassment. In some cases, this harassment can even turn into sexual assault. The victims of workplace sexual harassment and sexual assault deserve justice and the perpetrators deserve to suffer consequences for their actions. Additionally, workplaces that fail to protect their employees also deserve to be held accountable for the role they've played in enabling the abuse.
Some common forms of employer negligence that could result in a lawsuit for sexual harassment or sexual assault include:
If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual assault in the workplace, you may be able to find justice through the civil court system. To learn more about your legal options, get in touch with one of our experienced sexual assault survivors attorneys for a free consultation.