WATERFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — He’s a former fast food manager busted for alleged sexual assault on a teenage girl he was overseeing.
A former Burger King worker says at 15 years old, she was robbed of her innocence and self esteem, forced to live in fear.
Now, her former boss is facing two counts of 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct.
7 Action News cameras were rolling as Waterford Police arrested Daniel Bertram after a lengthy investigation. Police said they found disturbing evidence of sexual assault on a prior employee. Bertram had nothing to say about it back on Nov. 7, when he was taken into custody in handcuffs and also kept quiet during his arraignment in court.
“I will never forget the first day you touched me in a freezer. Sticking your hands in my pants and telling me to be quiet” his alleged victim tells 7 Action News. We aren't using her name or showing her face.
In a letter she hopes to one day read in court she says, “I opened the stall door to you masturbating in front of me. I tried to turn around but you grabbed me. You pushed me into the corner of the stall and forced my clothes off me. I was so scared. A fear I cannot explain to anyone. Christmas Break. 2016. I lost my virginity at age 15.”
Police say it all happened at a now closed Burger King location on Dixie highway in Waterford. Bertram, the same man who hired her in July 2016, allegedly first began with vulgar talk.
“He would tell other guys I was a whore. Call me out on things I wasn’t doing. I was super shy. I was too scared to say anything to him. I looked at him like he was my boss. And then he put his hands in my pants. I didn’t know what to do, and he was like, 'if you tell anyone they’re not going to believe you, so don’t even try it.' He told me that he would tell people I stole money from the store.”
We can see how she was first groomed with comments, and then things developed from there, as she was preyed upon," Police Chief Scott Underwood said. "The emotional toll this takes on a family, the victims, anyone else involved is awful.”
In mid 2018, after two years of alleged sexual assault, she quit. But, Daniel went on to open a new location which he ran.
“Grand opening, he cut the ribbon. With Waterford officials, you could see in the picture,” says her father.
An attorney for Bertram is denying the allegations. He remains free on bond pending trial. Burger King is not commenting. In the meantime, he’s scheduled to appear back in court on Dec. 16 at 1:30.
“This is going to be with her for the rest of her life. This is not something that goes away” says her father.
Waterford Police say they want to hear from any other potential victim who could be out there. If you have any info, contact them right away.