Man Charged With Drugging Woman's Drink

A man pleaded not guilty to charges Tuesday that he tried to slip a drug into a co-worker's drink at a Santa Monica hotel bar.

Michael Roe Chien Hsu, 24, faces felony charges of administering a drug and assault with intent to commit a sex crime, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. Hsu's bail which was initially set at $1million, was cut to $350,000.

Alan Jackson, his attorney, argued in court on Tuesday that Hsu was not a flight risk.

"There's no indication he represents any kind of danger to the community," he said. "As a matter of fact he owns property in Los Angeles. His family is in Los Angeles."

LA County Deputy District Attorney Oksana Sigal argued for higher bail to keep the suspect behind bars because there may be other victims while police continue to investigate the case.

The case broke after three women saw Hsu allegedly trying to spike the drink of his female companion while she was in a rest room Thursday night at the Fig restaurant inside the Fairmont Miramar Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard, the women said.

Sonia Ulrich said she saw the suspect drop a white substance from a small container into his companion's wine.

"He caught my attention," she said. "He was turning his head from left to right, looking super nervous."

Ulrich told the suspect's companion about the alleged spiking while the two were in the restroom while Ulrich's friends -- Marla Saltzer and Monica Kenyon -- tipped off restaurant staff, who called police.

Hsu was arrested at the restaurant by Santa Monica police and the wine was taken as evidence. Police did not say what the drug was.

The women were shocked when they heard the victim tell them that she and the suspect had been friends, telling Ulrich, "he's one of my best friends."

The case got attention after Ulrich posted it on Facebook the next day under the title, "GUESS WHO STOPPED A RAPE LAST NIGHT?! THESE GALS!" with a picture of them posing as TV's female super sleuths Charlie's Angels.

Kenyon said the incident has generated conversation around a topic that has been difficult to talk about -- date rape. There is an average of 293,066 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.

It has also gotten high profile attention recently after a judge ordered Bill Cosby to stand trial in a sexual assault case after he was accused of drugging and violating a woman who worked for Temple University in Philadelphia.

"We want to make victims feel comfortable and safe, to come out and talk about it," Kenyon said. "This has been happening for years and years."

Saltzer said she's glad the evening turned out the way it did and that the Facebook post has been gaining attention.

"It's developed into a much larger conversation," Saltzer said.

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