A Florida woman who won a getaway trip to Chicago ended up drugged and raped, and her attorneys allege that restaurant security guards stood by and did nothing as the victim was attacked.
FOX 11 reports that on Monday, the unnamed woman’s lawyers filed a lawsuit at the Cook County circuit court against the owner of the El Hefe, located in the River North area of Chicago, off of Hubbard Street. The alleged assault took place in an alley behind the restaurant.
According to court documents, the woman, who is in her 20s, visited the restaurant on October 18. At some point during the evening while inside the restaurant, she began feeling ill and disoriented.
The lawsuit alleged someone drugged the young woman. A man wearing red shoes and dark clothing bought her drinks inside the restaurant, according to the lawsuit, then led her outside to the alley.
Two security guards were spotted standing by the doorway of the restaurant, laughing and doing nothing while a man pulled the victim beside a dumpster and raped her, the lawsuit claimed.
“She may have been drugged or something had been given to her to manipulate her and she deteriorated very quickly,” Attorney Brian Monico said.
The woman’s other lawyer, Attorney John Chwarzynski., said the security guards likely knew the alleged rapist, and the suspect himself may have worked at El Hefe.
“Not only as he’s walking out with her does the man in the red shoes wave them off, but also as the two security guards are out there standing and laughing and watching as though this is something of a joke for them,” Chwarzynski said.
Monico added that it seemed strange that a business would escort a customer out of the building via a back door and into an alley, leading him to also believe that the restaurant staff knew the suspect.
“It appears that the individual who escorted her out of the bar may have had some relationship with the bar or staff in the bar.”
El Hefe posted on Facebook that a staff member called 911 after the woman became ill. The restaurant denied that the security guards knew anything about a sexual assault incident.
The following is a statement from El Hefe on recent stories in the news media about an incident that allegedly occurred…
After the incident, the man left the victim in the alley. She was found unconscious and lying on the ground between two dumpsters. First responders rushed her to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Although the victim said she blacked out and couldn’t remember anything, medical staff determined she had “various vaginal injuries” and didn’t have on the underwear.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, a business close to the restaurant gave security footage of the attack to Chicago police. Detectives are still investigating the incident, but no one at the restaurant has helped in identifying the suspect, the lawsuit stated.
Om Wednesday, an advocacy group called Resilience organized a protest outside of the restaurant.
“We have decided to use this opportunity to stand against an industry that fosters a culture of sexual assault with their refusal to take action,” the group posted on Facebook.
The man’s identity remains unknown. The victim’s attorneys are urging anyone with tips or information to contact Chicago PD.
Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: CCTV Screenshot]