Chicago Sun-Times

Aca­dia chef de­nies cy­ber­stalk­ing ac­cu­sa­tion by for­mer em­ployee

- BY MATTHEW HENDRICKSO­N, STAFF RE­PORTER mhen­drick­son@sun­times.com | @MHen­drick­sonCST Crime · White-collar Crime · Printer's Row, Chicago, IL · Northeastern University · 7-Eleven · Cook County · Nason, IL

A for­mer em­ployee of the Miche­lin­starred South Loop restau­rant Aca­dia was granted an emer­gency stalk­ing or­der against chef Ryan McCaskey af­ter fil­ing a claim in court last week ac­cus­ing McCaskey of be­ing be­hind a bizarre web­site and ha­rass­ing him online.

The no con­tact or­der — granted to Cody Na­son by a Cook County Cir­cuit Court judge Sept. 10 — bars McCaskey from con­tact­ing Na­son and or­ders him to stay 1,000 feet away at all times.

Na­son, in his court fil­ings, claimed the chef cy­ber stalked him and cre­ated a web­site that ac­cuses Na­son of be­ing a pe­dophile.

McCaskey, the owner and chef of Aca­dia, at 1639 S. Wabash Ave., vig­or­ously de­nied the al­le­ga­tions Thurs­day through his at­tor­ney, who ac­cused Na­son of pre­vi­ously try­ing to ex­tort money from the chef.

“The al­le­ga­tions are cat­e­gor­i­cally false in each and ev­ery sin­gle as­pect. Not one al­le­ga­tion is true,” McCaskey’s at­tor­ney, Roger Malavia, wrote in an email to the Chicago Sun-Times. “This per­son has at­tempted to ex­tort money and de­stroy Mr. McCaskey’s rep­u­ta­tion by fil­ing a per­ju­ri­ous pe­ti­tion re­plete with dis­hon­est claims.”

Na­son did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment through a so­cial me­dia ac­count Thurs­day.

Na­son claims McCaskey reg­is­tered the web­site CodyNa­son.com in Au­gust and ti­tled it “Cody Na­son is a pe­dophile,” ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments.

The site was used to post false claims, such as Na­son “brings a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence span­ning over 20 years work­ing at distin­guished Pe­dophile Academies across the coun­try,” that Na­son “at­tended North­east­ern Univer­sity ‘for his de­gree in child sex traf­fick­ing’” and that Na­son was pre­vi­ously con­victed of child rape, ac­cord­ing to a cease and de­sist let­ter Na­son’s at­tor­ney, Daliah Saper, sent to McCaskey on Sept. 1.

“Your dis­gust­ing con­duct did not end there. You emailed Mr. Na­son us­ing a fake email ad­dress im­per­son­at­ing Mr. Na­son’s late brother,” reads the cease and de­sist let­ter, which de­mands McCaskey take down the site as well as so­cial me­dia ac­counts cre­ated to im­per­son­ate Na­son’s de­ceased brother.

The web­site was also ref­er­enced in a se­ries of online Yelp re­views made for an­other restau­rant that Na­son worked at af­ter leav­ing Aca­dia, ac­cus­ing Na­son of act­ing in­ap­pro­pri­ately with guests and mak­ing them un­com­fort­able, court doc­u­ments al­lege.

Na­son’s pe­ti­tion also de­scribes email and so­cial me­dia mes­sages he al­legedly re­ceived from McCaskey that made vul­gar re­marks, as well as some racist mes­sages di­rected at Na­son’s at­tor­ney that read “Shouldn’t you be do­ing tech sup­port?” and “How many 7-11’s do you run?”

Be­cause plain­tiffs in Illi­nois can seek an emer­gency or­der be­fore a court hear­ing is held, McCaskey’s at­tor­ney said his client has not had an op­por­tu­nity to de­fend him­self against the al­le­ga­tions.

“The worst part of all this is that it be­comes a mat­ter of public record just by be­ing filed. Some­one can lit­er­ally say any­thing about you, me or any­one else and get an emer­gency or­der of pro­tec­tion in Illi­nois,” Malavia said in his email to the Sun-Times.

A hear­ing on the mat­ter is sched­uled on Oct. 5.

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