A Seattle CEO who rose to prominence by elevating employees’ salaries although slashing his own is experiencing misdemeanor assault prices stemming from allegations that he attempted to drive undesirable kisses on a girl, court information show.

Dan Price tag, 37, CEO of credit rating-card processor Gravity Payments, was billed in February with fourth-degree assault with sexual inspiration, fourth-diploma assault and reckless driving. Rate has not but been arraigned on the costs, which had been filed in Seattle Municipal Court by the metropolis attorney’s business.

A 26-12 months-old girl named Seattle law enforcement on Jan. 24 and documented that she had met Selling price at a cafe on Capitol Hill four times before. The two had previously communicated on Instagram about operate, charging papers say. The female described Cost as a general public figure and claimed she had achieved out to him in December about assembly in individual to discuss “professional issues,” say charging papers.

As a substitute, Seattle prosecutors say that Cost cornered the lady in his Tesla sedan after a evening meal meeting, tried to kiss her and then grabbed her throat when she refused. Relying on the woman’s account, town lawyers contend Cost then drove her to a North Seattle parking good deal, in which he proceeded to travel “doughnuts” with her in the car or truck.

Price’s protection attorney, Mark Middaugh, stated in an e mail Wednesday that the allegations against his shopper are “absolutely fake.”

“We have presently attained evidence that contradicts essential specifics of the law enforcement report and raises really serious uncertainties about the complainant’s trustworthiness. Mr. Selling price respects the legal course of action and is assured that he will be vindicated in courtroom,” Middaugh wrote.

The charges really do not condition the woman’s occupation but note that she is in a relationship and was not romantically fascinated in Cost.

Value shot into the nationwide spotlight in 2015 when he introduced he would increase Gravity Payments employee salaries to $70,000. At that time, his 120 staff were being paid an common income of $48,000 a calendar year. Cost pledged to raise shell out above the up coming a few years throughout all facets of the enterprise, together with the lowest-paid out clerks, shopper service representatives and salespeople.

Price cut his very own wage from virtually $1 million to $70,000, cementing a identify for himself in the company planet as a progressive CEO combating for larger wages and much better disorders for the normal employee. In a Fb reside movie, previous U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich called Cost “the a person ethical CEO in America,” in a monologue that capitalism itself might be immoral.   

“I felt responsible in the previous problem,” Value stated in the 2020 interview. “I’m happier now. It’s possible my ego took a hit, possibly my likelihood of acquiring on the Forbes record went from little to zero but it was worthy of it due to the fact I’m happier, I’m more healthy, and the men and women all around are [as well].”

Assault charges submitted

The girl told law enforcement that Cost bought drunk at the Jan. 20 dinner and later invited her to wait around in his Tesla for her Uber to get there simply because it was cold exterior, in accordance to charging papers. The girl agreed and mentioned as soon as she acquired in the car, Value tried using to kiss her, the fees say. When she pushed him away, he grabbed her throat but did not impede her airway.

“She said at that place, his demeanor modified and he grew to become exceptionally indignant,” and he drove absent with the lady since it was having as well extended for the Uber to arrive, in accordance to charging documents.

The female described being scared mainly because Cost was driving although intoxicated. She contacted her boyfriend, who explained he would choose her up at the Northgate park-and-trip, say the prices.

As soon as the woman and Price tag arrived at the park-and-trip, Price tag commenced carrying out doughnuts in the higher parking whole lot, then tried out to kiss the girl once again, in accordance to the prices. She pushed him absent and he grabbed her throat a next time, pulsing his hand on the sides of her neck, the expenses say. The lady reported she could continue to breathe but was terrified Cost “would do one thing additional,” say charging papers.

The lady stated Price tag then lay down in the again seat and her boyfriend picked her up, in accordance to the expenses. She informed the two her boyfriend and father about the incident, and told police she did not have any bruising on her neck.

The future working day, Selling price sent the lady a textual content message thanking her for assembly him the evening just before, but the female did not reply, charging papers say.

Charging files don’t indicate whether law enforcement gathered the text information explained by the woman, or if they spoke with other witnesses or Value.

“Our attorneys are examining all of the evidence and analyzing the route forward,” mentioned Anthony Derrick, a spokesman for the metropolis attorney’s office environment. He mentioned his business does not comment on the specifics of ongoing litigation.

Arraignment Friday

Value started Gravity Payments in 2004 at age 19, utilizing seed cash from his more mature brother Lucas to construct out the startup in his dorm home at Seattle Pacific University. He mentioned he acquired the idea for Gravity Payments though enjoying in a rock band at a espresso store.

Gravity Payments markets by itself as a credit card processing firm for “the very little gal or dude who thinks in the American dream and is keen to perform to chase it,” according to its website.

All-around the time of the 2015 income bump announcement, Price ran into lawful problems. Price’s brother Lucas sued him for allegedly overpaying himself later that year. A King County decide dominated in 2016 that Dan experienced not violated Lucas’ rights as a minority shareholder.

Allegations that Selling price abused his ex-spouse Kristie Colon also surfaced that yr. A Bloomberg report recounted an Oct 2015 TEDx discuss offered by Colon all through which she described getting crushed and waterboarded by her ex, without having naming Value. Rate advised Bloomberg those activities “never occurred.”

Price tag now can take to Twitter and Instagram, in some cases a number of situations a day, to urge other CEOs to raise wages, make it much easier for staff to take compensated time off, offer additional generous overall health treatment and, in some scenarios, get rid of conferences as a way to make improvements to worker productiveness and fulfillment.

Price tag is scheduled to show up in Seattle Municipal Courtroom on Friday, court documents display.

By Sia