Tony Club Suspends 'Grope-Pa'

Manhattan's ultra-exclusive University Club has banished a banquet captain facing allegations that he sexually molested waitresses for years during posh weddings and special events.

The power-broker club has suspended supervisor Melquisedec Guzman, 71, who three women claim regularly grabbed and groped them in elevators and other isolated spots and tried to trade sex for better work shifts.

Melquisedec Guzman
Guzman

A University Club lawyer told a judge last week that Guzman, who is being investigated by the Manhattan DA, has been instructed "not to return to the premises."

The three waitresses, all struggling mothers, joined together in late October to sue Guzman and the club, which is housed in an Italian Renaissance-style palace built in 1899 at 54th Street and Fifth Avenue.

Their lawyer, Joshua Friedman, told the judge that other women want to come forward but fear they would lose their jobs.

The waitresses' lawsuit describes a seemingly invisible underbelly in a club that often hosts political heavyweights, Hollywood glitterati and business barons.

The club's general manager, John Dorman, said, in a written statement: "None of the plaintiffs ever complained about the type of behavior alleged."