Two women have filed a lawsuit against West Hollywood's popular gay bar The Abbey, claiming they were drugged and raped by bartenders in separate incidents. Colleen Williams reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on April 4, 2013.
A multi-million dollar lawsuit is accusing three employees of a popular gay bar and restaurant in West Hollywood of drugging two female customers and raping them while they were in a stupor.
Calling the defendants’ alleged acts reprehensible and despicable, the lawsuit seeks $10,000,000 in damages for each victim, plus attorney’s fees.
"Their objectives of the case are to obtain fair and just compensation for the horrible injuries suffered by my clients as a result of the defendants' wrongful conduct, and to induce The Abbey and other nightclubs to provide proper security to protect patrons," said Robert W. Hirsh, a prominent Beverly Hills attorney representing the victims.
Documents: Read the Full Complaint (.PDF)
Filed in Los Angeles Superior Court Wednesday, the lawsuit claims that The Abbey should have known its customers were being discretely drugged and alleges the bar of, among other claims, negligent training and supervision of its employees.
The Abbey released the following statement to NBC4 late Thursday:
“When the incident was brought to our attention, we cooperated fully with the local police on an investigation and no criminal charges were ever filed. We will continue to keep the safety of our customers and employees a top priority, as we have for the past 24 years.”
The complaint identifies the three plaintiffs in the case as Yvette Doe, Joanna Doe and her husband David Doe.
A wife and mother of three, Joanna Doe visited the Abbey with two girlfriends on April 14, 2011. Her drink was allegedly spiked with a drug that made her unable to focus, talk or even walk by herself, according to the complaint.
An undocumented immigrant who worked at The Abbey, Oscar Ihraheta is alleged to have slipped Joanna the drug before taking her through the bar’s back door and into his car, where he allegedly raped her.
During the attack, Ihraheta allegedly squeezed the victim’s neck so hard that she was left with “severe bruises,” the complaint reads.
It was not immediately known if Ihraheta was ever arrested or charged in the assault.
A second woman – identified in the complaint as Yvette Doe, a lesbian who visited the bar with her girlfriend – was allegedly raped by two unknown male employees on Nov. 7, 2011.
Yvette Doe was visiting the bar for afternoon cocktails with her companion when the pair fought and split up to separate areas of the restaurant. She sat down at the bar, crying.
Noticing that she was upset, an unknown bartender gave Yvette Doe a free drink, which the complaint alleges was tainted with a drug that soon made her unable to function.
Two employees led Yvette Doe, who never had sex with a man before the attack, through the bar’s back door and raped her, the complaint reads.