Two women charged with sexually assaulting a transgender woman in bathroom

Attack continued despite pleas to stop, victim tells police

Jon Sharman
Wednesday 09 January 2019 11:56 GMT
Jessica Fowler and Amber Harrell were arrested following the incident
Jessica Fowler and Amber Harrell were arrested following the incident (Supplied)

Two women have been charged with kidnapping and sexual assault following an attack on a transgender woman in a bar toilet, according to reports.

Police in North Carolina said the alleged victim told them she was inside the toilet of a bar in Raleigh, the state capital, when the pair began to verbally abuse her.

They then exposed themselves and touched her, she claimed.

The attack was said to have continued outside the toilet, the Associated Press reported, despite the woman’s pleas and a bartender’s orders for it to end.

Amber Harrell, 38, and Jessica Fowler, 31, were arrested and charged with sexual battery and second-degree kidnapping following the incident at Milk Bar in December 2018.

AP reported that it was not clear whether they had legal representation.

The women were released on bail, the site said.

In 2016 politicians in North Carolina passed legislation requiring transgender people to use bathrooms in many government-run buildings that corresponded to their sex as defined at birth.

Though this measure was replaced the following year with legislation that does not say who can use which toilets, USA Today reported in July 2018 that there were still complaints about the latest provisions.

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WSOCTV reported on Tuesday that continuing controversy over the replacement legislation may cause the production team on a new Netflix programme to film elsewhere.

The new law still prevents local officials from creating anti-discrimination rules until 2020, the site said.

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