Woman sexually assaulted outside bar ‘while bouncers watched,’ lawyer says

Chiara Giordano

A woman is suing a bar claiming bouncers stood by and watched as she was sexually assaulted in an alley.

Video footage shows a man dressed in black opening the back door of the El Hefe bar and restaurant, in Chicago, followed by another man who appears to be holding the woman by the neck as he leads her out into the alleyway.

The man dressed in black and a second man, both thought to be members of staff, can be seen lingering by the door talking and smoking in security footage while the woman is led further down the lane by the man.

The pair, who are later joined by a third member of staff, occasionally glance down the alley towards where the man and the woman can be seen near industrial bins in the distance, but they do not intervene.

Several minutes pass between the time of the alleged assault and when the bouncers walk over to the woman, according to The Washington Post, which has seen the full 40-minute video footage captured on a nearby surveillance camera.

Someone eventually called the emergency services who took the unconscious woman to hospital where doctors determined she had been sexually assaulted, according to Fox 32 Chicago.

Still image from surveillance video showing woman being led out of El Hefe bar and restaurant in Chicago by a man who allegedly raped her while security staff stood nearby: Fox 32 Chicago

The woman, named only as Jane Doe in court papers, is now suing the business, alleging that the bar’s staff failed to protect her.

According to her lawyer, Brian Monico, the woman believes she may have been drugged as she “deteriorated very quickly” after arriving at the bar on 18 October.

A man allegedly made sexual advances towards her after she became separated from a friend and continued to pursue her even after she vomited, Mr Monico said.

“This is something that is deeply traumatising to her and she is going to be in a bad way for a long time,” said Mr Monico.

The woman’s lawyers believe the suspect either works at the bar or is known to someone employed there.

John Chwarzynski, who is also representing the woman, said the man in the red shoes appears to “wave off” the security staff, who then stand there “laughing and watching as though this is something of a joke for them”.

Chicago Police are investigating the report of sexual assault, however the suspect has not been identified.

If you have been affected by sexual violence, you can find help via the NHS. Rape Crisis offers specialist support for women and girls; and the The Survivors’ Trust supports people of any gender.

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