The three -- Ashley, Gabrielle and Lauren D'Annunzio, who are now in their early 20s -- made the assertions in announcing the filing of a civil suit in federal court in Central Islip. They are seeking unspecified damages on allegations of sexual harassment and emotional distress from the restaurant, Ayhan's Fish Kebab, its owner Ayhan Hassan, and a manager, Dario Gomez.
At a news conference on the steps of the State Supreme Court in Mineola, the three said that, while working as hostesses at the restaurant, they had complained to management about the harassment, but nothing was done to stop it.
The harassment included male employees making lewd remarks to them and touching their arms, legs and buttocks, according to the suit filed by their attorney, Sara Kane of Garden City.
An attorney for the restaurant, Bruce Migatz of Garden City, said that he had not seen the lawsuit, but that "I'm familiar with the contentions, and they are wholly without merit, anyway."
The sisters, who had worked at the restaurant for between 1 1/2 and three years -- quit in July of 2008 after an incident in the restaurant's basement when Lauren D'Annunzio, then 17, was restrained in a bear hug by a cook who groped her though "she shouted unsuccessfully for him to stop," the suit says.
The cook, Juan Pablo Orellano, halted the attack when a busboy came down to the basement, the suit says.
A spokesman for the Nassau district attorney's office, Christopher Munzing, said that Orellano was convicted in October 2008 of attempted sexual abuse, a felony, and served four months in jail because of the D'Annunzio incident.