BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — A prominent Baldwin County business owner faces a rape accusation in a civil lawsuit filed Friday, Aug. 12. The lawsuit, filed by a former employee, claims Shaul Zislin began “grooming” the plaintiff in March 2018 and raped her at his Orange Beach condo in May 2018.

Zislin is the founder of Hangout Music Fest. He also owns The Gulf restaurant in Orange Beach, The Hangout restaurant in Gulf Shores and Surf Styles stores. WKRG does not publish the names of alleged victims in rape cases out of privacy concerns.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff worked at Zislin’s The Gulf restaurant in Orange Beach. On March 3, the suit claims Zislin began grooming the plaintiff “by handling workplace conflicts for her under the guise of a concerned boss.” The suit said “Zislin used an ongoing workplace conflict and surrounding circumstances to lure” the plaintiff to his condo at the Opal Condominiums on May 30, where Zislin allegedly raped the plaintiff.

The lawsuit said the plaintiff was afraid to report the alleged rape to local law enforcement “due to Zislin’s position in the community.” Instead, the plaintiff reported the rape “to several doctors, nurses, her counselor and the Baldwin County Rape Crisis Center, as well as her boyfriend at the time, coworkers and friends,” according to the filing.

The lawsuit includes three causes of action against Zislin: assault and battery, outrage and invasion of privacy. Two causes of action are leveled against Alabama Point Venue, LLC, The Gulf restaurant’s business name: vicarious liability and negligence.

This is a developing story. WKRG News 5 is working to gather more information. We will update this story as more information becomes available.

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