The owner of a Benton pet grooming shop will be in Bossier District Court Tuesday to face obscenity charges.
Nicholas Rawlinson, owner of BarksTail Hair Force was arrested after five former employees filed criminal complaints against Rawlinson that accused him of several obscene acts including exposing and touching himself in their presence, showing them naked videos and even masturbation videos.
Rawlinson was arrested by Bossier Parish Sheriff’s deputies at his business on July 28, one day after the employees filed the reports. He was booked into Bossier Parish Maximum Security and held on a $100,000 bond set by Bossier District Judge Jeff Cox. In that original hearing, Cox forbid Rawlinson to have any contact with the women who filed the complaints.
But on August 18, District Judge Mike Nerren ruled in favor of a motion filed by Rawlinson’s attorney to lower that bond, reducing it by half to $50,000 and threw out the sexual battery charge, a misdemeanor.
Rawlinson’s parents bonded him out of jail the very next day, three weeks after his arrest.
While Rawlinson was incarcerated, the women who filed criminal charges continued to work at the business, helping Rawlinson’s wife who was managing it. Although Cox had put a restraining order in place during the original hearing, they didn’t know how his release would affect that order, so filed for protective orders in civil court.
On Sept. 14, a hearing was held and the protective orders – five, in all – were granted by retired District Judge Bruce Bolin who was sitting in at Bossier District Court that day.
There was, however, a caveat – because Rawlinson was the owner of the business, he would be allowed to work in the business, but his contact with the women was restricted to professional communication.
The women never went back to work.
Because Louisiana is a ‘right-to-work’ state, they had no legal recourse in district court, but consulted an attorney on their federal recourse, and learned unless a business has more than 15 employees, there is no protection under federal law.
The women, however, are more concerned about others who may encounter this man, or other predators, and find themselves in the situation they were in, so decided their only recourse was to go public on social media.
Since they have, other people – both employees and customers – from Rawlinson’s previous job in national chain pet store, as well as the Benton store, have contacted them, they say.