A former employee of the Michelin-starred South Loop restaurant Acadia was granted an emergency stalking order against chef Ryan McCaskey after filing a claim in court last week accusing McCaskey of being behind a bizarre website and harassing him online.
The no contact order — granted to Cody Nason by a Cook County Circuit Court judge Sept. 10 — bars McCaskey from contacting Nason and orders him to stay 1,000 feet away at all times.
Nason, in his court filings, claimed the chef cyber stalked him and created a website that accuses Nason of being a pedophile.
McCaskey, the owner and chef of Acadia, at 1639 S. Wabash Ave., vigorously denied the allegations Thursday through his attorney, who accused Nason of trying to extort money from the chef.
“The allegations are categorically false in each and every single aspect. Not one allegation is true,” McCaskey’s attorney, Roger Malavia, wrote in an email to the Chicago Sun-Times. “This person has attempted to extort money and destroy Mr. McCaskey’s reputation by filing a perjurious petition replete with dishonest claims.”
Nason did not respond to a request for comment through a social media account Thursday.
Nason claims McCaskey registered the website CodyNason.com in August and titled it “Cody Nason is a pedophile,” according to court documents.
The site was used to post false claims, such as Nason “brings a wealth of experience spanning over 20 years working at distinguished Pedophile Academies across the country,” that Nason “attended Northeastern University ‘for his degree in child sex trafficking’” and that Nason was previously convicted of child rape, according to a cease and desist letter Nason’s attorney, Daliah Saper, sent to McCaskey on Sept. 1.
“Your disgusting conduct did not end there. You emailed Mr. Nason using a fake email address impersonating Mr. Nason’s late brother,” reads the cease and desist letter, which demands McCaskey take down the site as well as social media accounts created to impersonate Nason’s deceased brother.
The website was also referenced in a series of online Yelp reviews made for another restaurant that Nason worked at after leaving Acadia, accusing Nason of acting inappropriately with guests and making them uncomfortable, court documents allege.
Nason’s petition also describes email and social media messages he allegedly received from McCaskey that made vulgar remarks, as well as some racist messages directed at Nason’s attorney that read “Shouldn’t you be doing tech support?” and “How many 7-11’s do you run?”
Because plaintiffs in Illinois can seek an emergency order before a court hearing is held, McCaskey’s attorney said his client has not had an opportunity to defend himself against the allegations.
“The worst part of all this is that it becomes a matter of public record just by being filed. Someone can literally say anything about you, me or anyone else and get an emergency order of protection in Illinois,” Malavia said in his email to the Sun-Times.
A hearing on the matter is scheduled on Oct. 5.