Urban Cookhouse owner accused of criminal sexual conduct

Updated: Oct. 16, 2018 at 5:02 AM EDT
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Owner of Urban Cookhouse William Gillespie accused of criminal sexual conduct

MT. PLEASANT, SC (WIS) - The owner of Urban Cookhouse is facing criminal sexual conduct and assault and battery charges.

William Gillespie is accused of having sex with an employee at the chain’s Mt. Pleasant location against that person’s will in July 2016.

William Gillespie is accused of criminal sexual conduct
William Gillespie is accused of criminal sexual conduct

The victim also alleges that in July 2018, Gillespie physically assaulted them in a sexual manner while displaying a small handgun during the encounter.

Records indicate Gillespie turned himself in earlier this month.

Urban Cookhouse founders David and Andrea Snyder released a statement regarding the charges against Gillespie.

"We recently became aware that a former business associate of ours, William Gillespie, was accused of assault and battery by one of his female employees in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. These allegations, if true, represent behavior that is entirely inconsistent with our family’s values and company’s standards.

Since 2014, we have operated without managerial control from Mr. Gillespie, and we do not share ownership of any of our four Urban Cookhouse locations. As founders of the Urban Cookhouse brand, we deeply are saddened and disappointed by this allegation.

As a family-owned business, our thoughts and prayers are with the alleged victim, her family and William’s wife and children. We will not speculate about William’s behavior or the potential outcomes out of respect for the legal process."

The case is still under investigation as police review surveillance video and call records.

Urban Cookhouse also has a location on Devine Street in Columbia.

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