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Jeff Herman files sexual assault lawsuit against owner of La Dorada Restaurant in Coral Gables

Diana: This lawsuit was recently filed in Miami-Dade County, alleging the owner of La Dorada restaurants sexually assaulted a former hostess. Amanda Gonzales is 19 years old. She was 18 when she worked here for two weeks last January. The man on the right in this photo is La Dorada owner Domingo Gandara, from the restaurant’s website.

Amanda: I’m basically here to stand up for young women, like myself, who have to be subjected to this type of behavior from men who are disrespectful.

Gandara’s Attorney: We were shocked, back in January of 2012, when she went to the police, and the police have never, have never filed any charges. That was over a year ago.

Diana: The lawsuit alleges Gonzales was subjected to sexual harassment, abuse, and assault, in particular, one night after work, when Gandara walked Gonzales to her car.

Amanda: Went ahead and groped my breasts. When I pushed him off of me, and as the elevator doors opened, I rushed to my car, where he followed behind me, and literally started to attack me, and push his bodyweight against me and my car, as I was trying to find my keys, and got very inappropriate and licked me.

Diana: What does your client say happened that night?

Gandara’s Attorney: Nothing. He took her, I think he may have taken her to the garage, and then came back. And then the next day, she didn’t come back. There are no witnesses.

Diana: Attorney Jeffrey Herman held a news conference right across from the restaurant to announce the suit. When asked about the fact police have filed no charges…

Jeffrey: It’s a classic he-said, she-said, and the standard is beyond a reasonable doubt, so they’re difficult cases to prosecute, which is why the only remedy for justice is a civil lawsuit.

Gandara’s Attorney: They sent a demand letter to my client for $1.5 million.

Diana: Herman confirmed that, and says he’ll ask for more money if this case goes to trial. In Coral Gables, Diana Gonzales, NBC 6, South Florida.