Two pilots accused LaCroix CEO of unwarranted touching

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Two male pilots formerly employed by National Beverage, the parent company to the popular soft drink LaCroix, claimed the firm’s 82-year-old CEO touched them inappropriately multiple times on the company jet, reported by Wall Street Journal.

Both of said they had been hired as co-pilots on the jet. CEO Nick Caporella is a pilot himself who could fly the jet.

Glenn Waldman, an attorney for Caporella and National Beverage, told the Journal that the allegations are false and “scurrilous.” 

One pilot, Terence Huenefeld, alleges in a lawsuit that Caporella engaged in “repeated unjustified, unwarranted and uninvited grabbing, rubbing and groping” of his leg in a sexual manner, including reaching up towards his genitals, the Journal reported.

He said the unwanted touching occurred on 18 flights between March and July 2016. He worked for the company for five months, according to the Journal. But the allegations were withdrawn after the suit was settled Feb. 2.  

The other pilot, Vincent Citrullo, accused the CEO of similar unwanted touching on 14 flights from March 2014 to July 2015 in a separate lawsuit. Caporella is accused of grabbing Citrullo under his armpit, under his thigh and moving his right hand up Mr. Citrullo’s left leg towards his genitals, the Journal said.

After the aviation company and National Beverage received complaints from the two pilots, Caporella is alleged of continuing the inappropriate touching, according to the lawsuits, Wall Street Journal reported.

Reached by the Journal, Citrullo said he stands by his allegations “100%. It was definitely inappropriate.”

 

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