Trans Woman Attacked in Bar Bathroom in North Carolina

North Carolina police said two women sexually assaulted a transgender woman at a bar in the state’s capital Raleigh, reported ABC 30.

38-year-old Amber Harrell and 31-year-old Jessica Fowler started verbally abusing the trans woman in the restroom of Milk Bar on Glenwood Avenue. They then exposed themselves to her and “fondled the victim’s buttocks and chest,” according to the arrest warrant.

In a 911 call, the woman reported the attack. “She pulls her shirt up and says, ‘Do you want to see my boobies?’ and she pressed me up against the wall with her bare chest,” she told the dispatcher.

The woman said the attack moved from the bathroom into the bar. “[The bartender] could see I was visibly uncomfortable,” the victim told the 911 dispatcher. “She asked the girls two times to stop. The girl didn’t stop at first, so she forcefully had to tell the girl to stop. She was like groping my back, my stomach, it was uncomfortable.”

The two women were charged with second-degree kidnapping, a felony, and sexual battery. Harrell was released on a $50,000 bond and Fowler, on a $30,000 bond.

Ames Simmons of Equality NC said attacks like this are common but often go unreported.

“They don’t get helpful reactions when victims try and come forward,” Simmons said. “This is the kind of violence we’re trying to work on. We’re trying not to address these incidents after they happen.”