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November 20--  A Lyons businessman accused in a civil suit of sexually-oriented inappropriate conduct with three former female employees refused to answer questions at a court hearing November 9 at the Toombs County courthouse.

Michael Grimes exercised his constitutional rights against self-incrimination under the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution when questioned by the plantiffs' attorney Keith Pollette.

Pollette is representing Jessica Beasley, Skylar Moore and Chelsea White.  The trio is suing Grimes under provisions of Georgia's racketeering act and is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

Pollette says three witnesses backed up the allegations against Grimes at the hearing before Superior Court Judge Kathy Palmer.  In response to media questions last month, Grimes claimed the allegations are not true.

The judge continued an injunction she had earlier granted against Grimes which prevents him from transferring assets of his grocery company to other parties.  In so doing, she relaxed a provision of the injunction which had prevented Grimes from communicating with present and former employees regarding the lawsuit, however, he was cautioned against engaging in  threats or intimidation.

Attorneys for Grimes are expected to file an answer to the complaint by November 26.