$10 million lawsuit filed against Krystal, suspect in teen rape

Matthew H. Roberts (Courtesy: Pigeon Forge Police Dept.)

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The teenage victim of an alleged rape at a Pigeon Forge Krystal and his mother have filed a ten million dollar lawsuit against the fast-food chain and the suspected assailant, Matthew Roberts, the family's attorney Bryan Delius confirmed on Wednesday.

"Since the rape, my client has required extensive care and supervision," said Delius. "And we don't see an end in sight for how this will negatively impact this dear child's future."

According to Delius, his investigation revealed what he described as "substandard training and negligent hiring, retention, and supervision by Krystal and GSM Enterprises" which he claims allowed Roberts to prey on young boys.

"My investigation suggests that Roberts had made passes at other young boys while working at the Pigeon Forge and Seymour Krystal Restaurants," said Delius, asking community members to come forward with any other instances of Roberts "making lewd and lascivious remarks toward and about other young and/or mentally handicapped males."

"We cannot tolerate these restaurants ignoring obvious risks and endangering the citizens and visitors of Sevier County," concluded Delius.

A company spokesperson for Krystal Albert Waterhouse said, “Krystal has not yet received a copy of the lawsuit and is not in a position to comment. However, it is Krystal's understanding that the franchisee who owns and operates this restaurant, GSM Enterprises, LLC, is cooperating fully with the police in their investigation.”

Matthew Roberts was arrested in Fall River, Mass. by members of the U.S. Marshal's Service Fugitive Task Force, who were working with the Smoky Mountain Fugitive Task Force in Knoxville. Officials had been searching for him since last Friday.

Officials say he lured the teen into the bathroom of a Krystal restaurant, 2041 North Parkway in Pigeon Forge, on November 29 and forcing him to perform oral sex on him.

According to the TBI Sexual Offender Registry, Roberts was convicted of first degree Rape and Abuse of a Child; Indecent Assault and Battery on a Child Under 14; and Open and Gross Lewdness in May of 1982. In April 1987, he was convicted of 2nd Degree Sodomy.

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