Illinois woman sues Atlanta nightclub after alleged sexual assault streamed on Facebook Live
A woman who recorded her alleged sexual assault on a dance floor using Facebook Live is suing a popular Atlanta nightclub, claiming negligence.
Jasmine Eiland, 30, filed the lawsuit Monday against Opera Atlanta, as well as unidentified owners, security companies and security personnel, her lawyer said Tuesday.
The suit filed in Fulton County State Court says the club failed to provide adequate safety and security last month, when Eiland says she was sexually assaulted on the dance floor and again in a secluded, off-limits area.
“Something like that should not happen in a nightclub,” Eiland’s lawyer L. Chris Stewart said by phone Tuesday, adding that interviews with former staff and people who were there that night indicated the club didn’t have as much security as it was supposed to.
“It’s really a situation where they chose to choose profit over protection,” Stewart said.
An Opera Atlanta representative didn’t respond Tuesday to an email seeking comment.
The Associated Press doesn’t generally identify alleged victims of sexual assault, but Eiland said she wanted to go public. Her lawyer said she wants to combat the intense online criticism and rumors she’s faced, and to give strength to other victims to come forward.
Eiland, who lives in Illinois, went to Opera on Jan. 19 for a concert by hip-hop singer August Alsina. She livestreamed herself dancing. Later, she can be seen shouting for help in a slurred voice, repeatedly screaming “somebody help me” and “stop” with tears rolling down her face as she continued to record and post the video in real time.
Opera Atlanta issued a statement a few days later saying the club had provided police with “everything requested” and would support the investigation in any way it could.
Dominique Williams was arrested and charged with aggravated sodomy in the alleged attack and was booked into the Fulton County jail on Jan. 29. He remained in jail Tuesday and no bond had been set.
His lawyer, Shequel Ross, did not return a phone message Tuesday seeking comment, but she earlier told Rolling Out that her client denies sexually assaulting Eiland.
Eiland’s lawsuit says Opera Atlanta failed to provide a safe environment, failed to have enough guards and failed to properly train its guards.
“Jasmine Eiland was sexually assaulted on the dance floor while no security intervened as she was clearly in and out of consciousness,” the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit asks for a jury trial and seeks medical and legal expenses, as well as compensatory and punitive damages.
Eiland said she’s been unable to go to work or to interact with her husband and children since the alleged attack.
“I’ve been under a rock,” she said in a phone interview. “I’ve been beating myself up.”