Craig James Mazzarese

Craig James Mazzarese

CRESSON – A Portage pizza shop owner was ordered on Wednesday to stand trial, accused of inappropriate contact with an underage female worker, authorities said.

Craig James Mazzarese, 37, of Hollidaysburg, was held for trial following a preliminary hearing before District Judge John Prebish, of Cresson.

The state attorney general's office charged Mazzarese with two counts of indecent assault and one count of harassment, all misdemeanors, for allegations stemming from July 2017 to September 2018.

The alleged victim said she worked at Craig Mazz's Pizza during that time, when she often heard him making inappropriate comments to other female employees.

According to a criminal complaint, Mazzarese would "comment on how good she looked in her pants and he would tell her to bend over in front of the customers because she would get better tips."

"He would also rub her back or put his hand on her shoulder while talking with her, and she would feel uncomfortable, but was afraid to say anything," the complaint said.

In another incident, the girl said, Mazzarese pulled her against him in the basement of the restaurant, pulled her shirt up and groped her.

The criminal complaint said "she tried to push off of him, but was unable to do so."

In February, Prebish ordered Mazzarese to stand trial in two related cases.

Those cases, which involved four other pizza workers, included several charges of indecent assault, harassment, corruption of minors, unlawful contact with a minor, open lewdness, indecent exposure, invasion of privacy, strangulation and dissemination of obscene material to minors.

Mazzarese closed the pizza shop after the charges were filed against him.

Patrick Buchnowski is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 532-5061. Follow him on Twitter @PatBuchnowskiTD.