Police say that two women sexually assaulted a transgender woman in a bar in Raleigh, North Carolina, roughly a month ago.
Authorities charged Jessica Fowler, 31, and Amber Harrell, 38, with second-degree kidnapping and sexual battery, and have since been released from police custody. Harrell reportedly turned herself in over the weekend and Fowler did the same Tuesday. It is not yet clear whether Fowler and Harrell have lawyers.
The assault took place at The Milk Bar on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh on Dec. 9, according to the Raleigh Police Department.
A friend of the transgender victim called 911 at 2:30 p.m. the day after the event to report the incident, telling police that his friend encountered two women in the bathroom of The Milk Bar. They allegedly proceeded to grab the victim’s genitals and asked if they “have a dick or a penis,” followed by one of the women flashing the victim and pulling up their shirt.
She asked, according to the 911 call obtained by The Daily Caller, if the transgender women wanted to see her breast. One of the women is accused of grabbing at the victim’s buttocks, as well.
According to Donna-maria Harris, a representative at the Raleigh Police Department, the victim “had to escape from the bathroom,” where she was being accosted and physically trapped, constituting a second-degree kidnapping. After the victim exited the restroom, at least one of the assailants continued to grope the victim until a bartender took notice and demanded that they stop.
In the 911 call to Raleigh Police, the victim’s friend said that the groping “felt uncomfortable because there was a rape last year, and this caused a panic attack in the bathroom.”
Both Fowler and Harrell were placed in Wake County Jail after turning themselves in until being released on a $30,000 bond and a $50,000 bond, respectively. (RELATED: Transgender Woman Threatens To ‘Take It Outside’ When Gamestop Employee Uses The Word ‘Sir’)
North Carolina passed a bill in 2016, mandating that transgender people use the restroom that aligns with their biological sex, rather than their preferred gender identity. A bill passed in 2017 that negated this requirement, allowing for trans-people in North Carolina to use any bathroom they want.
Here is the full transcript of the 911 call to Raleigh Police:
Friend of Victim: Yes, what’s the best way to make a police report?
Raleigh Dispatch: Um, what kind of police report are you trying to make?
Friend of Victim: (…) was sexually assaulted in a bar last night in downtown Raleigh, and I would like to make a report about it.
Raleigh Dispatch: Where did this happen?
Friend of Victim: The Milk Bar on Glenwood Avenue.
Raleigh Dispatch- And what is your name, sir?
Friend of Victim: (…)
Raleigh Dispatch: And whats a contact number for you sir?
Friend of Victim: (…)
Raleigh Dispatch: Okay, tell me exactly what happened.
Friend of Victim: Well … a transgender female was going to the bathroom to check her hair and makeup, and there were two females in the bathroom, and, um, they started talking for whatever reason, and she thought they were just being friendly. So, one of the older women proceeded to grab her genitals and asked — uh, excuse my language — “Do you have a dick or a penis?” and her friend started laughing … She pulled her shirt up and said, “Do you wanna see my boobs?” and she pressed her up against the wall with her bare chest. So the other girl starts playing with the wig she was wearing [inaudible] and told them several times to stop and blah-blah-blah. So she’s like, “Let’s go do a shot,” so, you know what? I’ll let it go. They go back to the bar and the bartender actually sees this stuff going on because one of the girls is still like touching all over her, and she would not let go after numerous times, she could see that she was visibly uncomfortable. She asked the girls two times to stop. Um, the girl didn’t stop at first, she had to force her to stop. She was like groping her back and her stomach. This felt uncomfortable because there was a rape last year, and this caused a panic attack in the bathroom. And I want to make a report about that.
Raleigh Dispatch: Okay, did you have any medical attention?
Friend of Victim: No.
Raleigh Dispatch: Do you have any injury?
Friend of Victim: Um, no, nothing…
Raleigh Dispatch: And you are no longer in the area correct?
Friend of Victim- Uh, no, but I will be tomorrow.
Raleigh Dispatch: Alright. An officer is going to call you as soon as possible. Call us back immediately if anything changes or you have any further information.