PITTSBURGH -- Several women who were sexually assaulted by a former Rite Aid manager who knocked them out with stolen drugs have sued their attacker and the pharmacy chain for $18 million.
The lawsuit, filed last week by six of the seven women Donald E. Preik Jr. pleaded guilty to assaulting, accuses Rite Aid Corp. of negligence and recklessness for inadequately supervising Preik and giving him access to prescription drugs, including the "date-rape" drug triazolam and other tranquilizers.
Preik, 49, was sentenced in June to 20 to 64 years in prison for drugging and sexually assaulting the women, attacks that he photographed and in one case videotaped.
Preik stole sleeping pills and other drugs from the Rite Aid store he managed in Clairton, prosecutors said. The assaults began in 1999, but the women did not know they had been assaulted until March 2004, when one of them found a photo album containing pictures of an assault.
The lawsuit, filed last week in Allegheny County court, alleges that Rite Aid gave Preik a key to the store's pharmacy.
"These are controlled substances that only a pharmacist is allowed access to," said Richard Sandow, the women's attorney.
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