EXCLUSIVE: Woman Claims She was Brutally Raped Outside Local Bar, Investigation Underway
SPRING HILL – A night of drinking with friends turned to terror for a Spring Hill woman on Saturday, after she says a man grabbed her from behind a local bar and raped her repeatedly in a dark alley.
The alleged 30-year-old victim, “Rachel,” whose full identity we are not releasing at this time, says she and a male companion met at Jersey’s Hometown Tavern around 10:00 p.m. Saturday.
Rachel tells RNRF during an emotional and heart wrenching interview, “I went to the bathroom and was grabbed by a man by the back door.” The back door of the business is located next to the men’s and women’s restroom and opens to a dark alley between two office plazas.
A tearful Rachel explains “He grabbed me and threw me to the road and got on top of me from behind. I was trying to get up but he kept pushing me to the ground.” Rachel says during the rape “Somebody walked right by us and I tried to reach out to grab him.” That’s when Rachel says the suspect yelled at the guy to “Get the f**k out of here!”
Rachel says she was able to stand up but the suspect pushed her over the air conditioner unit and sexually battered her again. After the attack, the suspect fled the scene towards US-19 and the Rachel went back inside the bar and sat down with her friend.
Rachel’s friend, who wished only to be referred to as “Jason,” tells RNRF that he suspected something was wrong after she was missing for a long-period of time. Jason says “I asked the bartender to check on Rachel and that’s when she came back over and sat down with me.” Jason goes on to say “When the bartender noticed Rachel crying she asked her to come back to sit in the kitchen and tell her what was wrong.” Later, Jason joined them in the kitchen and that’s when Rachel told him that she had been raped.
Fire Rescue responded to the scene and transported Rachel to Oak Hill Hospital. Rachel submitted to a forensic exam in an attempt to preserve possible DNA evidence. Rachel says investigators also took her clothes into evidence.
The Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that a sexual battery investigation is underway and that it originated at Jersey’s Hometown Tavern located at 4598 Commercial Way, but they could not comment further on the details of the investigation.
We tried to contact the bar owner, Evans Pappas, and the bartender who helped Rachel but neither has responded to our requests for comment.
Jason says “I think Evans was more concerned about his bar than what happened to Rachel.” Before leaving the bar, Jason says Evans told him “If she is lying I will sue her.”
Rachel questioned the security at Jersey’s and says “There were no bouncers at either entrance to the bar and nobody was even checking I.D.’s.”
Rachel doesn’t deny that she had been drinking quite a bit that evening but says she did not consent to having sex with anyone.
Rachel says the Sheriff’s Office has located a possible suspect and that she is scheduled to meet with Detectives again tomorrow for a video interview.
We will bring more on this story as it develops.
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