TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Two stores in Tonawanda had their ability to sell alcohol suspended after a store owner was accused of sexually abusing an employee.
Nasr Mohamed owns the Sheridan Liquor Store and manages Sheridan Market. Both are located at the same place on Sheridan Dr.
Tonawanda police say that on April 7, Mohamed pressured an 18-year-old female employee to drink shots one hour before closing time. It was the woman’s first day on the job, the New York State Liquor Authority says.
Following the drinking, officials say the woman rushed to a storage room and started throwing up. Authorities say Mohamed then followed her there and sexually assaulted her.
After fleeing the store, authorities say the woman was taken to Kenmore Mercy Hospital. She told police that she felt pressured to drink, state officials say.
Mohamed was subsequently charged with sexual abuse, unlawfully dealing with a child and prohibited sale of alcoholic beverages because the employee is not yet 21.
“He is, by all accounts, trying to get her into a vulnerable position by having her become intoxicated. This is one of the most deplorable things you can go against another human being,” said Town of Tonawanda Police Capt. Joseph Carosi.
Back in August, police say Mohamed was drinking with another female employee before she lost consciousness. According to authorities, the employee woke up in her backyard and talked to police after finding bruises indicative of a sexual assault.
Mohamed told authorities that he drove the woman home.
In addition to this, the Liquor Authority says a similar incident happened in a store in November, but the victim did not cooperate with police after calling them to say she was assaulted.
“This is not the first time we’ve received allegations of this nature against Mr. Mohamed. There have been several complaints in the last year that we had investigated but for one reason or another were not able to follow through with charges,” Carosi said.
“These reports allege a frightening pattern of deviant, dangerous, and disgusting behavior, including claims that the licensee’s employees were plied with alcohol and then sexually assaulted,” Counsel to the Authority Christopher R. Riano said. “I want to thank the Town of Tonawanda Police and the Members of the State Liquor Authority for sending a strong message that this reprehensible behavior cannot, and will not, be tolerated.”
The Sheridan Liquor Store was charged with seven violations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control law. The Sheridan Market was charged with four violations of the law.
“The State Administrative Procedure Act and the Alcoholic Beverage and Control Law authorize our agency to summarily suspend a license prior to a hearing where the public’s health, welfare, or safety is of an immediate concern,” explained Jaime Gallagher, Associate Counsel for the New York State Liquor Authority.
Mohamed will return to Town of Tonawanda Court May 22 at 9 a.m.