Starbucks Paying for Legal Defense of Former Barista, Admitted Statutory Rapist

Better stop buying your Frappuccinos and whatever other drinks Starbucks brews--your hard-earned cash just might be going to the legal defense of a former barista criminally convicted of statutory rape.

In a case currently winding through U.S. federal court in SanTana, a former Starbucks worker is suing the company and one Timothy Horton for civil damages regarding Horton's admitted statutory raping of the victim when she was 16 and working at an Irvine Starbucks (guess which one!) and he was 27 and her supervisor. Horton already served time for the crime, having pled guilty earlier this year in Orange County Superior Court  for unlawful sex with a minor. Police reports and depositions have already established Horton's superiors suspected his perversion, going so far as to transfer the victim to another Starbucks after the victim's mother complained about Horton, yet never bothered to report him to law enforcement.

Nevertheless, Starbucks is standing by a man they fired. In an August 16 sworn declaration filed in court by plaintiff lawyer Vince Finaldi (part of Manly & Stewart, the law firm best known for showing again and again how the Catholic Diocese of Orange protected pedo-priests) stated that Horton's lawyer, Eric Yuhl, admitted during a conference between the two sides that Starbucks hired him to defend Horton and is paying all legal fees. And Horton admitted to as much in a June 30 deposition; when Finaldi asked how he found Yuhl, Horton replied, "Eric was given to me by--referred" by Starbucks. "What you're going to have to do since there's--for lack of a better legal word, goofy stuff, give me the chance to object," Yuhl instructed his client.

Since when did Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown start whipping up lattes? Much more on this case in the coming days...

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