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A&W ex-manager charged in rapes

A 27-year-old Port Orchard man has been charged with unlawfully coercing two of his former employees into having sex with him and police say those two are probably only the beginning.

James D. Border Jr. was arrested Feb. 12 for forcing a Port Orchard girl to have sex with him while he was her supervisor at the A&W in Port Orchard. Her father reported the crime in mid-January after the girl, who was 16 at the time of the alleged attack, experienced what police are terming “personal problems.” The girl’s father said she told him about the assault, and pointed to four other former co-workers who she said were also assaulted by Border.

One of those girls is now a co-defendant in the case against Border, who was charged with first-degree sexual conduct with a minor Feb. 13. Both left the A&W before charges were filed against Border.

“There are possibly multiple victims — possibly more,” said Port Orchard Detective Jason Glantz, who is still working the case.

According to police reports, Border assaulted the girls while working as a manager at the A&W. He left in June after nearly eight years of employment to start work at the puget Sound Naval Shipyard. A&W owner Rick Gehring said Border was later asked not to visit the store when it became clear that he was making the female employees nervous.

However, Gehring said he had heard nothing of Border’s alleged criminal behavior until he was charged a week and a half ago.

“We were shocked that something like this could happen at the A&W,” Gehring said.

Police believe Border may have assaulted other employees while working at the restaurant. At least one woman detectives talked to said she experienced an incident with Border, but was incapacitated at the time and “wasn’t really sure what was happening,” Glantz said.

Witnesses also said Border had made sexual comments to the employees, such as suggesting they would be good Hooters waitresses — an assumed allusion to their breast sizes.

“There are other people that have made comments that he made sexual innuendos to them,” Glantz said.

Gehring said the restaurant has had a sexual harassment poster prominently displayed for the last two years and said this is the first time anything of this magnitude has ever happened at the establishment. He said the A&W management is currently conducting its own internal investigation.

Border, who has no criminal history in Kitsap County and was released on personal recognizance, has a different take on the charges.

Glantz said Border was surprised by the charges and told police he thought the sex was consensual. He also told police he had make the sexual remarks as a joke and thought the girls, who he saw as “good friends,” understood he was joking.

“Basically he said he felt comfortable with them and he was friends with them,” Glantz said. “He said a lot of stuff.”

Sexual misconduct with a minor is a charge which specifically deals with situations in which an authority figure abuses his or her position to coerce sex from his or her subordinates, who must be between 16 and 18 years old. It is a class C felony and carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

Glantz said he expects to recommend more charges be added to Border’s case as more victims come forward. He asks anyone with information regarding Border’s alleged misconduct or anyone who has been assaulted by Border to call him at 876-1700.

Border is expected to go to trial on the current charge May 7. His omnibus hearing has been scheduled for March 12.

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