A 35-year-old Laurel woman filed a lawsuit Monday against the president of the Rams Head Group and the company's Savage restaurant, where Howard County police say he secretly videotaped women who were using the restroom.
The lawsuit, filed in Howard County Circuit Court, names Kyle C. Muehlhauser and the Rams Head Tavern in Savage as defendants. The woman's attorney is seeking class-action status, saying there are many more women in a similar situation.
Muehlhauser was charged last month in Howard County with "peeping Tom" violations and counts of video surveillance with prurient intent, after police said they found a digital camera that contained videos of six women using the toilet at the restaurant. Officers started an investigation in May, when a woman in the restroom said the device fell onto the floor next to her.
Police have said none of the women in the videos was identifiable. But the woman who filed the lawsuit, Michelle Mia Castle, visited the restaurant at least a dozen times in the month leading up to the day the camera was discovered, said her attorney, Clarke F. Ahlers. She also used the restroom there that day and is "reasonably certain" she was taped, he said.
"She's very disgusted that somebody would do this to her — or to any woman," Ahlers said. "She's a strong woman and, as you can imagine, just shocked that someone gave [himself] license to do this to another human being."
Castle is named in the lawsuit and in a news release distributed by Ahlers about the case. Ahlers said his client visited the restaurant regularly because it was close to her workplace at the time.
Rams Head Group Vice President Erin McNaboe declined to comment, citing the pending lawsuit and the advice of attorneys.
"There will be a time and place for all facts to be discussed and evaluated," she said in an email to The Baltimore Sun.
Muehlhauser's attorney could not be reached Monday evening. In a statement issued last week, Muehlhauser said he was devastated and embarrassed by the charges.
The lawsuit seeks $3 million in punitive damages, as well as additional unspecified damages.
Muehlhauser, 37, is scheduled to appear in court in April for the criminal charges. His company runs restaurants in Crownsville, Savage and Stevensville, as well as the concert venues Rams Head on Stage in Annapolis, Rams Head Center Stage at Maryland Live casino in Hanover and Rams Head Live in Baltimore.