Ex-Bartender Accused of Secretly Filming Customer of North End Restaurant

A North End restaurant is in trouble with the city of Boston after a former bartender was accused of secretly filming a female customer in the bathroom.

Rigoletto Ristorante was scheduled to appear before the city's licensing board to discuss the incident Tuesday. According to a Boston Police incident report, officers were called to the restaurant in March after a 29-year-old woman reported that she had discovered a cell phone concealed in the restroom.

"She was using the unisex bathroom when she realized that there was a cellphone in the plant vase," the report stated, "and found that it was recording her."

The alleged victim immediately approached the bartender, according to the report, and asked who owned the phone.

"I was shocked. The bartender said he didn't know, he didn't know, he didn't know. But then somebody called him on the phone," explained a witness, who asked not to be identified.

Upon answering the call, the witness said the woman realized the phone belonged to the bartender, at which point she and her friends called police.

"She said there is a video of him placing the phone in the plant, and you can see him doing," the witness said. "It's unsettling."

The police report stated that the bartender left the property before they arrived, however, he then later came to give them a statement.

NBC10 Boston reached out to the restaurant for comment Tuesday. In a statement, attorney Lee Rajsich wrote, "This incident involved one lower level employee trying to prank a co-employee, near closing, involving the unisex restroom shared by the employees. We understand that no member of the public was expected to use the restroom at the time. The employee in question was let go immediately and there have been no other incidents. Rigoletto is proud to be among the great, Italian restaurants carrying on the tradition of Boston's North End."

The restaurant's hearing with the board was rescheduled for late July.

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