North Carolina Women Allegedly Groped Transgender Woman In Bar Bathroom

Raleigh Police Department

Two North Carolina women allegedly attacked and groped a transgender woman in a bar bathroom, grabbing her genitals and demanding to know if she had a penis.

The incident took place in December at the Milk Bar in Raleigh. As the New York Post reported, Jessica Leann Fowler and Amber Nicole Harrell allegedly confronted the woman in the bathroom and grabbed at her genitals. A friend of the victim called the police the following day, saying that the pair had initially talked with the victim and appeared to be friendly, but one of them then groped her.

The other alleged attacker then laughed and asked if the victim would like to see her breasts, and one of the women allegedly grabbed the victim’s backside, the report noted. As the incident unfolded, the victim repeatedly asked the pair to stop.

But the attack allegedly continued after the victim left the bathroom, prompting the bartender to ask Fowler and Harrell to stop harassing the transgender woman.

The arrest drew quite a bit of interest online, including many who commented on the lack of outrage among many who pushed against transgender bathroom rights but were silent when it was a transgender person who was allegedly attacked.

Others noted that attacks against transgender people are all too common. The Human Rights Campaign found that since 2013, there have been 128 transgender people who were killed in attacks that turned fatal. Of those, 90 percent were transgender women and 45 percent of all deaths occurred in the U.S. South.

As the report noted, the number of transgender people who were victims of violence and fatal violence was likely even higher than initially reported.

“These disturbing numbers likely underreport deadly violence targeting transgender people, who may not be properly identified as transgender,” the report claimed.

“At least 128 transgender people — the vast majority transgender women of color — have been killed in the last five years,” said Jay Brown, Acting Senior Vice President, HRC Foundation.

“But most people can’t even name one victim — one human being who left behind family, friends and a future. We must do better. Solidarity means showing up, speaking out, saying their names and steadfastly working to change the realities that conspire to put transgender people at risk of violence. We can do better.”

Jessica Leann Fowler and Amber Nicole Harrell have been charged with second-degree kidnapping and sexual battery. Fowler was given $30,000 bond and Harrell given $50,000 bail. Both have since been released from jail after posting.