Missouri Western Aramark employee Larry Gawatz was charged with first-degree statutory sodomy of an adolescent child.

Gawatz’s arraignment occurred Friday, March 30. According to the St. Joseph News Press article, Gawatz, who works in Western’s dining services at the food court, allegedly inappropriately touched the child’s genitals and exposed himself to the young victim. The article further stated that he allegedly sodomized the victim between early October 2009 and late February 2012. According to st.joechannel.com, the victim was under the age of 7.

Assistant Food Services Director Kathy Dewalt refused to comment, stating that she had been authorized to speak only to authorities. Dewalt did confirm that she hired Gawatz and that his case is still under investigation.

Aramark Director of Communications Karen Cutler also refused on comment on Aramark hiring policies and procedures.

Student and frequent food court diner Adrian Cossyleom said that Gawatz was very friendly and was very dissappointed to hear about Gawatz’s arrest.

“I know Larry,” Cossyleom said. “I used to talk to him all the time. I would go up to him and have a little chat while checking out. He was friendly all the time.”

Student athlete Charlonda Bozeman, who also frequents the food court often, said that Gawatz was very polite and generally a cheerful guy.

“He was thoughtful and showed he cared about everybody,” Bozeman said. “He was very polite and always had a smile on his face.”

For more information regarding Gawatz’s case, visit http://stjoechannel.com/fulltext/?nxd_id=265912 More information will be covered regarding this case upon the court’s decisions after the arraignment.

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