Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - Page 7 News List

Transgender woman claims raped at historic NY bar

NY Times News Service, NEW YORK

New York City police detectives are looking for a man who they say sexually assaulted a transgender woman at the Stonewall Inn, the Greenwich Village bar with a central role in starting the gay rights movement, authorities said on Monday.

The woman told investigators she was drinking at the bar on Saturday night at about 11:30pm when she went upstairs to use a unisex bathroom, the police said.

While she was washing her hands, a man entered the room and said he wanted to wash his hands, the police said, adding that he touched her without her permission and then sodomized her.

The woman told the police that she had indicated her lack of consent to the man, but did not resist out of fear of being hurt.

The man left the bathroom, only to return shortly thereafter to grope the woman again before leaving, the police said.

The woman, 25, who was treated at Lenox Health Greenwich Village hospital, called 911 at about 1am on Sunday.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called the episode “very troubling,” when asked about it at a news conference on Monday.

“Look, it’s a very disturbing incident taking place in a site that’s very important historically and where something good happened in terms of creating more opportunity for people to live their lives,” he said.

The Stonewall Inn’s reputation as a historic battleground for gay rights traces to 1969, when a police raid at the bar touched off days of riots and marches. It was designated a New York City landmark in June last year and is also on the National Register of Historic Places.

The bar said in a statement on Monday that it was working closely with police.

“We are deeply saddened by the news of an allegation of sexual assault against a member of our community,” the statement read.

The police distributed a photograph of the man believed to be the assailant, who they said is about 35 to 45 years old, taken from cameras at the bar.

New York Police Department Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said police hoped to make an arrest in the next few days.

“People inside the Stonewall know him and we’ll go from there,” he said.

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