2 women charged with kidnapping and sexual battery after following trans woman into a bar bathroom

They allegedly locked the door and fondled the woman’s buttocks and chest
January 9, 2019, 3:36pm
2 women charged with kidnapping and sexual battery after following trans woman into a bar bathroom

Two North Carolina women have been charged with felony kidnapping and sexual battery after they allegedly followed a transgender woman into a bar bathroom and attacked her in December.

Amber Harrell, 38, and Jessica Fowler, 31, followed the victim into the women’s restroom at Milk Bar in Raleigh and proceeded to lock the door and fondle the woman’s buttocks and chest, according to the arrest warrant.

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"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,” the victim said in a 911 call immediately following the alleged incident.

The attack began in the bathroom, and then the two women followed the victim into the bar and continued to harass her, according to investigators.

Harrell was arrested last weekend and released on $50,000 bond, and Fowler was released on $30,000 bond after turning herself in, according to the Associated Press.

North Carolina became the focal point of a national controversy two years ago over transgender people’s public bathroom use. The state passed a law in 2016 that said people must the bathroom that corresponds to the gender they were assigned at birth, which drew widespread condemnation from the LGBTQ community and activist groups. In 2017, North Carolina passed a separate law that rescinded the rule.

Cover: In this May 12, 2016, file photo, signage hangs outside a restroom at 21c Museum Hotel in Durham, N.C. Transgender plaintiffs went to court over a compromise that replaced North Carolina's "bathroom bill". (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)