Silent Partner of Red Hen Restaurant is a Registered Sex Offender-Unproven!
Summary of eRumor:
Stephanie Wilkinson, the owner of the Red Hen restaurant who refused service to Sarah Huckabee Sanders, has a silent partner named Barney Allen Frazier, Sr, who’s a registered sex offender.
There’s no proof to back claims that Red Hen owner Stephanie Wilkinson partners with is a registered sex offender. The rumor started with a single, anonymous online poster who claim that they’re a former employee of the restaurant.
We couldn’t find any official records linking Red Hen owner Stephanie Wilkinson to Barney Allen Frazier, Sr. Those rumors surfaced after Wilkinson refused service to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, citing moral objections.
Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left. Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) June 23, 2018
The situation drew plenty of attention — and it fueled a backlash against Red Hen owner Stephanie Wilkinson that resembles baseless “Pizza Gate” claims about Hillary Clinton taking part in a child sex trafficking. These accusations have become commonplace in some dark corners of the web. They typically weave together unrelated facts and unverifiable first-hand accounts to argue that the target is part of a vast conspiracy. This rumor shares those characteristics.
State business records list Stephanie Wilkinson as the sole owner of the Red Hen. Of course, the rumor conveniently claims that the registered sex offender is a “silent partner.” That means it’s impossible to verify the claim.
It should also be noted that Barney Allen Frazier’s mugshot and sex offender registry information is publicly available online. And, when typing “registered sex offenders in Lexington” into a Google search, Frazier’s information is the first to pop up on the leading search result. It could be a coincidence, but it could also be a sign that someone Google searched for sex offenders in Lexington to use in a false rumor.
In the end, there’s no way to verify or debunk this claim. For those reasons, we’re calling the claim “fiction.”