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Royal Spa owner prevails in suits involving ex-employee

October 4, 2012

The co-owner of Indianapolis-based Royal Spa Corp. has prevailed in a year-long legal dispute in which he and a former executive of the company sued one another in separate courts.

Royal Spa CEO Robert Dapper won a judgment of $8,484 against ex-employee Kevin Roessler, and had a complaint and counterclaim against him from Roessler and his wife dismissed.

Court records revealed no details about the dismissals, and lawyers representing both sides declined to comment on the suits.

The dismissals likely put an end to a salacious legal spat that included sexually charged allegations against Dapper and sordid details of the swinging lifestyle of Roessler, according to court papers.

The court battle began in October 2011, when Dapper sued Roessler and his wife, Marcella Roessler, charging that Roessler failed to pay for a spa that he purchased from the store on a payment schedule.

The remaining amount of $8,484, including a $2,000 loan Dapper said he gave Roessler, came due in full upon his departure from the company in March 2011. Roessler had served as Royal Spa’s director of business development since June 2008.

Dapper also named Roessler’s wife in the suit, claiming that the couple threatened to make damaging allegations against Dapper if he did not write Roessler a check.

Dapper won his judgment against the Roesslers in Marion Superior Court in March.

Six months later, on Sept. 10, Dapper also had a counterclaim filed against him by Marcella Roessler dismissed. Her suit claimed that Dapper defamed her by making false and sexually degrading statements about her to a couple interested in buying a hot tub from Royal Spa.

In the meantime, Kevin Roessler charged in federal court that Dapper sexually harassed him and his wife after learning that he had an “open” marriage, court papers said.

After discovering Roessler’s lifestyle, Dapper began to request that Roessler invite him to events where couples shared their sexual partners, according to the suit filed in April. Roessler insists in the complaint that he did not want to combine his personal life with his work and was hesitant to invite Dapper to the events.

Roessler, however, alleged that Dapper became so strident in his demands to be invited that he threatened to fire Roessler if he did not comply, so he relented.

Federal Judge Tanya Walton Pratt dismissed Roessler’s suit against Dapper in late August. No explanation was given for the decision in court documents.

Dapper co-founded Royal Spa in 1981 with Rick Bartlett. The company is headquartered at 2041 W. Epler Ave. on the south side. It has three company-owned locations and more than 50 dealers in Indiana and 10 other states, in addition to Belgium and the Netherlands, according to the company’s website.
 

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