NJ restaurants owner arrested for sex assault of former employees, interviewee

A "complex" and "sensitive" investigation ended with the owner of several local restaurants being charged with multiple sexual assaults of former employees, and one potential employee.

Gerarld Araya, 44, was arrested Wednesday after his home and three restaurants, El Catador Lounge Restaurant, Dubai Restaurant & Lounge and Mill Hill Restaurant & Lounge, were all searched.

An investigation was launched last month after officials say a young woman reported being sexually assaulted while interviewing for a job with Araya. 

The victim told detectives she started feeling ill, telling the restaurant owner she wanted to go home.

"The next memory the victim had was of waking up in a room naked and being sexually assaulted by Araya," prosecutors said. 


Detectives later determined that she was sexually assaulted at a motel while being "physically helpless."

Three more victims who previously worked for Araya were then identified as additional sexual assault victims, officials say.

Araya is charged with aggravated sexual assault, kidnapping, criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child, and could face decades in state prison.