Door-to-Door Saleswoman Alleges Rape
SALT LAKE CITY (CN) - An ill-prepared teen was drugged and raped while pitching kitchen knives door to door, and escaped naked through her rapist's bathroom window, she claims in a lawsuit against her employer.
N.C. sued Vector Marketing, Direct Selling Association and Cutco Cutlery, on Wednesday in Salt Lake City Court.
N.C. claims that during her first week of work for the defendant companies in 2011, Phillip Doe invited her into his home.
The new hire, then 18, claims she had met 25-year-old Doe a few days before, and entered his home for "a one-on-one sales presentation."
"While making the presentation, Mr. Doe offered a drink to plaintiff," the 14-page complaint states. "Plaintiff initially declined. But upon the insistence of Mr. Doe, and plaintiff's vulnerability because of age and lack of training, plaintiff felt compelled to drink.
"After receiving the drink, plaintiff lost consciousness, at which point Mr. Doe commenced to sexually assault and rape plaintiff.
"As plaintiff began to regain consciousness, she did everything possible to escape and told Mr. Doe that she 'would rather die than have this happen.'"
N.C. says she broke free from Doe and escaped through his bathroom, then ran to a neighboring home.
"After being sexually assaulted, plaintiff eventually broke free and ran to the bathroom in Mr. Doe's home. Mr. Doe tried to follow her into the bathroom, but plaintiff successfully closed and locked the door, then escaped through the bathroom window," the complaint states. "While naked, plaintiff ran to and knocked on a neighbor's door. The neighbor answered the door, let plaintiff inside and gave her clothing, and called the police."
N.C. says she was taken from the home by ambulance and treated for "injuries and damages subsequent to sexual assault and rape."
Doe was arrested, and convicted and sentenced for rape, the complaint states.
N.C. says she was "rendered sick, sore, disabled, injured, damages and disordered, both internally and externally."
She claims that the defendant companies did not properly train her to sell Cutco knives and related products.
Vector "promised plaintiff that she did not need any experience and that she would receive the training and everything she needed to succeed," the complaint states.
"Defendants failed to provide the appropriate training and did not give plaintiff everything she needed to succeed."
N.C. claims that the defendant companies encouraged teens to go alone into the homes of strangers and pushed them to provide private in-house demonstrations "without first assessing the potential risks (e.g. performing background checks, checking sex-offender registries, etc.)"
She claims: "Part of plaintiff's employment was to receive three days of training instruction, which included: one day of learning how to sell Cutco Cutlery; one day of learning about Cutco Cutlery; and, one day of learning how to contact and sell to potential buyers.
"Plaintiff received little to no training and/or instruction on safety, safety issues, conflict management, risk aversion, and/or other related topes for plaintiff's own self-preservation, health and safety."
She also claims that defendants lacked state and city licenses.
She seeks punitive damages for improper and negligent training, negligent placement of plaintiff in harms way, negligent hiring practices, negligent supervision, breach of contract, and breach of duty to keep employees safe.
She is represented by Robert Poulsen with Poulsen and Skousen, of South Jordan.