RALEIGH, N.C. — Two women have been charged with assaulting a 29-year-old transgender person in a bathroom at a popular Glenwood South bar last month.
According to investigators, the victim was inside the women's bathroom at Milk Bar on Dec. 9 when she was sexually assaulted by two other women.
Authorities said the assault continued at the bar, where a bartender saw what was happening and repeatedly told the two women to stop.
Amber Harrell, 38, and Jessica Fowler, 31, are both charged with second-degree kidnapping and sexual battery in connection with the incident.
Amber Harrell (left) and Jessica Fowler (right)
Harrell, who was arrested over the weekend, was out of jail Tuesday on a $50,000 bond. Fowler was released on a $30,000 bond.
Fowler turned herself in at the Wake County Detention Center on Tuesday afternoon.
The victim called 911 the day after the incident. She told the dispatcher that the women started verbally abusing her in the bathroom, exposing themselves and touching her. The touching continued at the bar.
"One of the girls is still touching all over me. She would not let go. I asked her numerous times. She (bartender) could see I was visibly uncomfortable," the victim told the dispatcher.
Witnesses said it was clear the women were targeting the person because she is transgender.
In a statement from Bunch of Fives Hospitality Co., the company that owns Milk Bar, says this behavior won't be tolerated and they are cooperating with police.
"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.
Equality NC says transgender people are often the targets of sexual violence and often don't report it.
If the women are convicted they will have to register as sex offenders.
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