Doral

Women Accuse Doral Restaurant Owner of Sexual Harassment

NBC Universal, Inc.

Several women who worked at a Doral restaurant have accused their former boss of sexual harassment, claiming he took advantage of their immigration status.

Felix Cortes, 55, is the owner of La Cocina Martina, a Colombian restaurant in Doral. He was arrested Friday and faces multiple counts of aggravated stalking and battery.

Four women came forward, alleging that Cortes touched their private parts and verbally abused them.

"He didn’t waste any chance to touch us," one woman said. "Verbally, he was abusive and disrespectful, using nasty language when we would serve food."

The women who spoke to NBC 6 are single mothers from Colombia who don’t have work permits.

NBC 6 anchor Cherney Ahmara has the disturbing accusations against the man, who ended up behind bars.

"I really wanted to go to the police but I was afraid," one woman said. "I'm a single mother and I didn’t want to be deported to my country or have any problems."

The victims said the harassment lasted three months — but for others, it was years.

They claimed they told Cortes’ wife, trying to see if she would help.

"The wife didn’t care about our situation," one woman said. "She told us to shut up and be quiet. Get used to it, that’s how he is."

"The wife said just acted like nothing happened so we can have a better environment in the workplace," she said.

They want to share their stories to help other women.

"I know there's a lot of women going through our situation," one woman said. "Please speak up. Don't stay quiet."

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