• Women arrested after sexually assaulting transgender woman in bar restroom, police say

    By: Ann Smajstrla, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    RALEIGH, N.C. - Police in North Carolina say two women have been arrested for groping a transgender woman in the bathroom of a Raleigh bar.

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    Amber Harrell, 38, and Jessica Fowler, 31, have been charged with misdemeanor sexual battery and felony second-degree kidnapping, according to court records.

    Raleigh police say the incident happened Dec. 9, 2018 at Milk Bar in the Glenwood South neighborhood, the News & Observer of Raleigh reported. Someone called police the next day and said his friend had been assaulted.

    The caller, whose name hasn't been made public, told the dispatcher that Harrell and Fowler had been talking to his friend, who is a transwoman, in a seemingly friendly conversation in the bar's restroom. However, one of the women then grabbed the victim's genitals and asked if she had a penis.

    The caller said the women continued to harass his friend, groping her, lifting up her clothes and ignoring her pleas for them to stop. He said the women continued harassing the victim once outside the restroom, and that a bartender told them to stop.

    Harrell and Fowler turned themselves in to police.

    Bunch of Fives Hospitality Co., the company that owns Milk Bar, released a statement on the incident, reported WRAL-TV.

    "Bunch of 5s handles all matters that threaten our patrons in a timely fashion to ensure their safety and ability to enjoy themselves at all of our locations. This matter was handled with cooperation and full transparency with the Raleigh Police Department and the detective that was assigned this case. Bunch of 5s and Milk Bar seek to continue to welcome all patrons into a safe environment," the statement said.

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