Local News

Former maintenance employee faces food-tampering charge

Posted December 9, 2008 2:46 p.m. EST
Updated December 9, 2008 8:19 p.m. EST

— A former maintenance employee at Johnston Community College was charged Tuesday with food tampering in connection with a woman's complaint that he allegedly performed sexual and lewd acts involving a pack of gum in her office.

George Harold Jones, 68, of 1209-C Abednego Road, Kenly, was expected to be arrested Tuesday afternoon on a charge based on General Statutes Section 14-101.11, which prohibits anyone from knowingly distributing any edible substance that contains any other substance that could be damaging to another person's heath.

Paula Parrish, an administrator at the college, said she installed a Web cam in her office that captured Jones masturbating in her office last December and, afterward, touching various items on her desk, including gum.

"He was known for giving out gum to me and a lot of other women at that college," she said. "I don't know if he did the same thing to that gum that he did to mine, but it makes you wonder."

Jones resigned following a complaint Parrish filed with the college immediately after she saw the Web cam video.

When the college did not pursue a criminal investigation, Parish pursued her complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and then, last week, to Smithfield police.

Jones said Monday he was embarrassed by his behavior and that he does not know why he did what he did.

"You really don't know why you do things like that in your life," he said. "I'm truly sorry."

Gordon Woodruff, an attorney for the college, said officials there took immediate action upon receiving the complaint. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission agreed.

"Any other remedies that a person may have in this case, I think, are outside the area of the college's control and certainly are within the court system, which (Parrish) is free to pursue," Woodruff said.