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Anchorage hot dog vendor accused of inappropriately touching employee

  • Author: Jerzy Shedlock
  • Updated: July 7, 2016
  • Published February 12, 2016

Downtown Anchorage hot dog vendor Michael Roy Anderson, owner of the pushcart M.A.'s Gourmet Dogs, has been charged with coercion and giving alcohol to a teenage employee who accused him of unwanted sexual contact.

The offenses, a felony and a misdemeanor, happened near his pushcart, the charges say. Anderson runs the hot dog stand near the corner of Fourth Avenue and F Street in front of the old Federal Building from spring to fall.

On Sept. 15, 2015, Anchorage police officers asked Anderson about allegations made by his 18-year-old employee, according to an initial charging document filed in Anchorage Superior Court last month. The charges, which only identify the woman by her initials, say Anderson admitted to police that he had sexual contact with the woman by touching her "down there."

The police were investigating allegations brought to them five days earlier when the woman told officers that Anderson had made unwanted sexual contact with her twice during the work day. She said Anderson ate marijuana-laced brownies and drank vodka on the job, according to the charges.

Anderson, 54, didn't return a message. Court records show he is being represented by Anchorage attorney Paul Stockler, who did not return a call.

When Anderson came to work on Sept. 10, according to the employee's account, he said, "Corporate is going to do drug testing today."

"We're going to test the drugs," he added.

Anderson tried to convince her to eat a pot brownie, but she refused, the charges say. That afternoon, he took his bicycle to a liquor store and returned with vodka and cranberry juice, which he also tried to get her to drink, the charges say. She said she took "little sips" from her cup.

The sexual contact happened inside the old Federal Building at a coffee shop Anderson also owns, Java Joan's, according to the charges. The employee accused Anderson of coming into the shop, turning out the lights and inappropriately touching her. She said she froze and didn't know what to do, the charges say.

"(The employee) said she was worried about possible retaliation because Michael Anderson is so well known," the charges said.

She told officers she did not tell Anderson "no" at any point.

The woman said Anderson would often drink at work, but she'd never seen him as impaired as he was that day. She also told officers she quickly discovered upon taking the job that Anderson was very controlling and would often talk about sex and make sexual jokes.

The employee agreed to call Anderson while police recorded the conversation on Sept. 11. Over the course of three calls, Anderson apologized for his behavior but did not go into detail about what happened, according to the charges.

Anderson has an out-of-custody arraignment scheduled for Feb. 26 in Anchorage. Bail was not set in the case; records show a court summons was issued for Anderson a week ago.

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