Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Spider House Co-Owner
From Facebook post to public statement ...
By Jessi Cape,
8:00AM, Fri. Oct. 27, 2017
UPDATE: Spider House has rescheduled the community meeting announced in its initial statement. From the Spider House Facebook page: "We are rescheduling our community forum for a time when all parties needed to be in attendance can be there. We will inform the public of the new date and time as soon as it is confirmed."
On Wednesday afternoon, Jeremy Rogers, in a joint public Facebook post with his wife Tiffany Paciga, posted accusations of sexual assault against their former employer, Spider House co-owner John Dorgan.
Dorgan, with co-owner Conrad Bejarano, also owns I Luv Video and I Luv Vintage.* All of the businesses, and Paciga, are tagged in the post, which has been shared more than 40 times.
“In the fall of 2014 John Dorgan sexually assaulted my wife... when she was giving him a ride home from Spider House,” Rogers’ post explains. “Tiffany offered to give him a ride home because he was drunk and it was cold out. When they arrived at his house, he begged her to come inside and started touching her inappropriately. When she rejected his advance, he lunged at her and Tiffany had to physically force him off. She had to force a fully grown 6'3 200+ pound man off her and out of her car.”
Rogers continues, “I brought the issue to management and was immediately met with, ‘That sucks. I'm sorry that happened. Is she okay?’ The conversation was deflected and there was no sign or promise to take action to rectify what happened. ... I scheduled time to sit with John personally and confront him on his actions against Tiffany. ... He apologized and blamed his circumstances of the evening being intoxicated and unable to think/act rationally.”
The post explains several incidents that allegedly took place after the conversation, and Rogers was fired shortly thereafter. The post credits, in part, the #metoo movement with their decision to “come forward and face this head on.”
On early Thursday evening, Spider House released a public statement claiming: “The current management team was unaware of the events that allegedly transpired between the parties, and are appalled with this situation. At this time, the owner in question has been banned from the premises, and is now and forever, a silent partner. While there is nothing we can do to remedy the past, we are taking the appropriate steps to make sure our Spider House Family feels comfortable and secure.”
The statement informs that Spider House will be conducting an all-staff meeting – “in which we will discuss all implications, and take care of any concerns; the whole community is invited to join” – on Monday, October 30, 2pm in the Spider House Ballroom.
The full response below:_________________
"A note from Spider House’s Owner Conrad Bejarano and Current Management:
"It has come to our attention that allegations have been made against owners and management in regards to defamation, harassment, and assault. In an attempt to remain transparent about this situation, we want to assure our guests and supporters that we have taken the appropriate steps to ensure the safety of all.
"The current management team was unaware of the events that allegedly transpired between the parties, and are appalled with this situation. At this time, the owner in question has been banned from the premises, and is now and forever, a silent partner. While there is nothing we can do to remedy the past, we are taking the appropriate steps to make sure our Spider House Family feels comfortable and secure.
"Spider House as a whole has strived for 26 years to guarantee our establishment is a haven for all. We do not discriminate, or allow hateful situations to occur in our vicinity. For the last few years, we as a team have worked tirelessly to turn around a negative perception surrounding our establishment, and will continue to do so until we have gained the trust and support from our community. The current management staff has an open door, open dialogue policy; that goes for both our staff and our guests. We will be having an all staff meeting in regards to this situation, in which we will discuss all implications, and take care of any concerns; the whole community is invited to join. This will happen on Monday, 10/30 at 2:00pm in the Spider House Ballroom.
"At this time we would like our supporters, staff, and anyone currently or previously associated with Spider House to feel free to come to us at any time with comments or concerns they may have. Our hope is to have an open dialogue, allowing our community to heal. We hope you will continue coming to Spider House for shows, events, and more."
*CORRECTION: This story originally listed EcoClean as one of Bejarano and Dorgan's jointly owned businesses. In fact, Kevin Bonfield and Mark Hess are co-owners of EcoClean. Bonfield clarified in an email to the Chronicle, "We bought the company from Conrad Bejarano and John Dorgan more than 6 years ago. John and Conrad are minority, silent investors. Since Mark and I bought EcoClean they have not been involved in any decision making or management of the company. They do not interact with customers or employees."