Two women charged after allegedly groping transgender woman in North Carolina bar
Raleigh Police(RALEIGH, N.C.) — Two women have been arrested and charged with second-degree kidnapping and sexual battery after allegedly harassing a transgender woman in the bathroom of a North Carolina bar, according to police records.
The two women allegedly groped a transgender woman, asked about her genitals and exposed themselves to her in the bathroom of Milk Bar in Raleigh on Dec. 9, according to a 911 call released Tuesday by the Raleigh Police Department.
Jessica Fowler, 31, and Amber Harrell, 38, have both been charged with sexual battery and second-degree kidnapping, according to police records.
ABC News’ calls to Fowler and Harrell were not immediately returned.
Fowler turned herself in on Tuesday and is being held on $30,000 bond, while Harrell turned herself in this weekend and was released from jail Monday after posting a $50,000 bond, The News and Observer reported.
Neither the alleged victim nor the caller has been publicly identified.
The 911 caller, whose name has been redacted and voice disguised, told police the alleged incident took place in the bathroom of Milk Bar.
The 911 caller told police what started as a friendly conversation took a turn when one of the women allegedly grabbed the transgender woman’s genitals and asked if she had a penis.
The caller then said one of the women allegedly pulled “her shirt up and she says ‘You wanna see my boobs?'”
The alleged harassment continued after the three women left the bathroom, according to the caller, who said that one of the women continued to grab the transgender woman even though they were told to stop by the bartender.
Transgender rights in bathrooms have been particularly contentious issue in North Carolina after a 2016 law was passed in the state stating that transgender individuals had to use the bathroom matching their gender on their birth certificate.
A subsequent bill in 2017 rescinded those requirements.
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