Grand Jury Probes University Club 'Creep'
A Manhattan grand jury is investigating allegations that a banquet captain who worked at the powerbroker University Club molested and sexually assaulted female waitresses.
Melquisedec Guzman, 71, was suspended late last year from his job - he later "retired," according to the club - after three women accused him of routinely groping and grabbing them in elevators and other spots at the storied Midtown club and trying to trade sex for better work shifts.
The three women sued Guzman and the University Club in October, alleging sexual discrimination and harassment, but state Supreme Court Judge Barbara Kapnick indicated Wednesday she'll put the suit on hold while the grand jury continues its probe.
In court, a lawyer for the three women also accused a University Club lawyer and a private investigator of intimidating potential witnesses. The women claim the club has unleashed a "smear campaign," with a club lawyer and the investigator telling witnesses one of the plaintiffs "charged $50 to sleep with people." A lawyer for the club attorney and the investigator denied the women's allegations.
Joshua Friedman, the attorney for the women, has asked Judge Kapnick to hold a hearing to see if the club committed criminal contempt for allegedly retaliating against his clients.