Lawsuit Filed Against Suburban Restaurant Owner Alleges He Secretly Shot “Up Skirt” Video of Eight Female Employees. 

                  New Evidence Indicates There Could Be 500 Additional Victims.

 Chicago February 19, 2021 David A. Axelrod and Associates, P.C., filed a civil lawsuit in Cook County late Thursday afternoon against a South Suburban restaurant owner accusing him of using a covert, shoe camera to secretly shoot video up the skirts of eight female employees without their knowledge. The Complaint alleged that most were teenagers including a 14-year-old girl. The plaintiffs’ lawyers say a hard drive seized by Illinois State Police from the defendant’s Frankfort restaurant contains deleted files that have recently been retrieved by their forensic expert. They say the files contain more than 24,000 photographs and videos that appear to be taken over a decade of covert filming up the skirts of many young women.  

The defendant, Michael J. Papandrea, 58, of Frankfort, and his three restaurants, Parmesans Wood Stone Pizza, Parmesans Station, and Parmesans Manheim Chicago all located in the south suburbs, are named in the lawsuit. Papandrea was arrested and criminally charged in March of 2020 with the unauthorized video recording after police say he filmed up-skirt videos of his female employees without their consent. Illinois State Police launched an investigation after receiving a tip about the alleged video recordings. During a search of Papandrea’s Frankfort restaurant they found and seized electronic devices containing several unauthorized "up-skirt" videos of female employees. Many files though had been deleted.

 The plaintiffs’ lawyers hired a computer forensic expert, Andrew Garret of Garret Discovery who retrieved the deleted files which indicate there could be hundreds of more victims who were photographed covertly without their knowledge.

“Mr. Garrett estimates there could be at least 500 more victims. The photos and videos include many sickening images including more “up skirt shots” and appear to be shot at various locations including shopping malls, other restaurants, inside bathrooms, offices, backyard parties, and even some that appear to be shot on vacation,” said plaintiff’s attorney, David A. Axelrod and Associates, P.C. 

“I am honored to represent these courageous young women who came forward to share their stories and identify themselves on video footage.  What we’ve seen so far violates Illinois law and shocks the conscience,” Proskey said.  “The Illinois Human Rights Act protects employees from sexual harassment, and our office is committed to holding employers accountable for their actions and to obtain relief for victims.  It is time to put a stop to sexual harassment in the workplace.”

According to the Complaint, Papandrea recorded up the skirts and dresses of his female employees at his restaurants in Frankfort and Tinley Park by attaching cameras to the tops of his shoes. The Complaint further alleges that Papandrea required them to wear dresses and skirts while working as hostesses and waitresses and subjected the young employees to unwelcome sexual advances often times by rubbing their backs and shoulders to place himself within close enough proximity to film the girl’s buttocks and genital region. 

“Our lawsuit claims the defendant committed this heinous act to multiple servers at his three restaurants,” attorney David Axelrod said.  “It’s unfathomable how this wouldn’t scar any woman for life.  We are determined to bring our decades of legal expertise to bare, in bringing some semblance of deserved restitution.”

Anyone who believes they may have been victimized by Michael Papandrea should contact David A. Axelrod & Associates at (312) 782-4600.

David A. Axelrod & Associates is a Chicago-based firm of trial lawyers that represents individuals and businesses in cases involving medical malpractice, catastrophic injuries, sexual harassment and employment discrimination, professional negligence and commercial litigation.

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