The former owner of two Sioux Falls-area adult stores is accused of raping and sexually harassing three employees. David Eliason has never faced criminal charges for the allegations but is standing trial this week on a lawsuit brought by three former cashiers.
Eliason, who opened Annabelle’s Adult SuperCenter in Sioux Falls in 2005 and Olivia's in Tea two years later, says he never raped his employees.
Attorneys for the former employees who are suing Eliason detailed in opening arguments Tuesday how they claim Eliason raped two of the women in his office. They went on to say he also pinned down and raped one of the cashiers in a North Carolina hotel room during a business trip.
During jury selection Tuesday, an attorney for the women also said one of the former workers had an abortion because she got pregnant from one of the incidents.
A third employee says Eliason never raped her, but at one point offered her hundreds of dollars to have sex with him and another woman in his office.
Eliason, who is representing himself, admitted to having consensual sex with one of the women in a North Carolina hotel, but denied the rest of the allegations.
"At the end of this trial, we will disprove all these hideous claims," Eliason said in court Tuesday.
One of Eliason's business partners from Florida testified Tuesday that following the 2008 court hearing, he came up to South Dakota and removed Eliason as co-owner of the stores.
Now Eliason is trying to clear his name in this lawsuit.
The women say they just want justice.
The women did report the accusations to police in December of 2007, but no criminal charges were ever filed.
The civil trial is expected to wrap up by the end of the week.