Frankfort pizzeria owner sued, accused of ‘up-skirting’ young female employees
New evidence alleges there could be hundreds more victims secretly photographed and videoed going back a decade.
Eight former employees have sued a suburban restaurant owner for allegedly taking “up-skirt” videos of the workers.
The lawsuit claims Michael Papandrea used a covert shoe camera to shoot video up the skirts of eight female employees, most of them teenagers — including a 14-year-old girl. He owns three restaurants in the south suburbs, including Parmesans Wood Stone Pizza in Frankfort.
Papandrea was arrested and criminally charged in March 2020 with recording “up-skirt” videos of his female employees without their consent. During a search of his Frankfort restaurant, Illinois State Police said investigators found and seized electronic devices containing videos, though many files had been deleted. Papandrea was released on bond pending a criminal trial in Will County.
“Our office is committed to holding employers accountable for their actions and to obtain relief for victims,” said Lindsay Proskey, the plaintiff’s attorney. “It is time to put a stop to sexual harassment in the workplace.”
According to the lawsuit, Papandrea required his female employees to wear dresses and skirts on the job, subjecting them to “unwelcome sexual advances” by placing himself close enough to film up their skirts. All eight employees are listed as Jane Does in the complaint to protect their identities and maintain privacy, attorney David Axelrod said.
“It’s unfathomable how this wouldn’t scar any woman for life,” Axelrod said.
Axelrod said a forensic computer expert found 1,900 videos created from a webcam hidden in Papandrea’s shoes, most of which were “up-skirted” shots. They also uncovered 14 videos taken from a camera over a bathroom toilet.
The plaintiffs’ lawyers say they’ve retrieved over 24,000 photographs and videos that appear to be taken over a decade. The photos and videos were taken at various locations, Axelrod said, not just at Papandrea’s three restaurants.