Alleged Victims of Local Pet Groomer’s Obscenity Speak Out
The trouble continues for Nick Rawlinson, owner of BarksTail HairForce, since five former employees came forward with allegations of obscenity and sexual harassment.
Three women who said they were victims of Rawlinson's lewd behavior have talked with KEEL News and told their stories.
All three said Rawlinson exposed himself to them, showed them photos and videos of his privates, touched them inappropriately and tried to give unwanted massages.
"We've known this man for years, and he's trained some us, and he hired some us from a previous job...when he was at PetSmart," one of the women, who doesn't want her name released yet, said. "We've just all known him for so long and looked up to him, and to have experienced this from him...it's crushing."
Hope Gaydon, who'd been working at the business since July 2015, said her last straw was when Rawlinson told her he wanted her to look at a "surprise" he got for his wife.
"He was looking on his phone, and when I went over he was scrolling through page after page after page of pictures of himself holding his penis. And I immediately moved away...and he's like, 'Nah, I'm just jokin', I'm just jokin'.' So I looked again, and it was a video of him masturbating."
She also said nothing can be done to protect them, because there are fewer than 15 employees at the business.
"So that means he's just going to continue bringing people in and possibly doing the same thing to them," Gaydon said. "I don't want anybody else to have to go through this because I promise you, I have never felt that kind of fear...from anybody."
A third victim has only been working at BarksTail HairForce since February. Like the other ladies, she didn't think anything about Rawlinson's behavior at first, but then it got to the point where he was exposing himself.
"It was horrifying. You don't know what to do. You try to walk away and you think this has to be some sort of mistake, or maybe he doesn't know he's doing it."
But she said it would happen again and again. She said she was also shown photos of Rawlinson's nude privates.
The five women who have filed charges say now that this is out on social media, they believe other victims will come forward with the same allegations. They say there have also been some customers who have witnessed the obscenity.
What are they hoping will come out of all this? The three I spoke with all said the same thing -- they hope he'll be required to get help for what they call a serious problem. They say they're not trying to ruin anyone's life or ruin the business, but they don't want anyone else to become a victim.
Anyone who feels they've been victimized by Rawlinson is urged to call the Bossier Sheriff's Office at 965-2203 and ask to speak to a detective.