Amber Nicole Harrell and Jessica Leeann Fowler arrested after sexually assaulting transgender woman demanding that she prove she is a woman.
Jessica Leeann Fowler, 31, and Amber Nicole Harrell, both of Raleigh, surrendered to police following the Dec. 9 incident at Milk Bar in Raleigh’s Glenwood South section. According to a filed complaint, the two women started verbally abusing the victim, exposed themselves and started touching her.
The News & Observer reported notice of the encounter occurring after a friend of the transgender woman called cops the next day.
According to the caller, Fowler and Harrell began chatting up the victim inside the bathroom. The conversation appeared to be congenial at first, but then one of the women grabbed the transgender woman’s genitals, demanding to know if she had a penis, according to the 911 call, which was released Tuesday by Raleigh police.
Fowler and Harrell then pulled up the transgender woman’s shirt demanding to know if the victim would like to show her breasts. One of the women also grabbed the transgender woman’s backside, according to the 911 call.
The unsolicited touching took place despite the victim saying a ‘number of times to stop,’ according to the caller.
Along with sexually assaulting the victim, the two women ar
The groping continued outside the bathroom, with at least one of the women grabbing at the victim’s stomach and buttocks. The bartender asked Fowler and Harrell to stop harassing the victim, according to the 911 call.
Both Fowler and Harrell are facing charges of second-degree kidnapping and sexual battery, jail records show.
Fowler, who surrendered to police Tuesday, was taken into custody on $30,000 bond at the Wake County Jail. She was no longer listed in the facility’s inmate roster as of Wednesday.
Harrell has also been released from the facility after turning herself in over the weekend and posting $50,000 bail, the newspaper reports, citing a magistrate.
North Carolina has come under fire for a 2016 bill that required transgender people to mostly use public restrooms matching their birth certificates.
A replacement bill passed in 2017 rescinded that requirement.