A customer at year-old East Village Latin American cafe Villa Cemita says that she was sexually assaulted in the bathroom of the restaurant on Sunday night. In a Facebook post titled "HI TONIGHT I GOT SEXUALLY ASSAULTED," the diner, Ingrid Ostby, explains that the manager/bartender offered her table discounts on future meals at the end of their dinner as well as three rounds of shots. Ostby notes that one of those shots looked cloudy. Once the meal was finished, Ostby says she went to the bathroom, where the incident occurred:
I dry off my hands, start to unlock the door, then the """"owner/manager/mixologist"""" pushes the door in to the very very small single stall bathroom and comes in, puts his hands on me (on my ass, around my waist), while saying, "I'm so glad you came in tonight" and puts his head toward me as if to kiss me. I go, "Are you fucking kidding me?" I push past him (how lucky, I can't imagine if he'd try to fight me — I'm admittedly weak), run to the table, rip the cash tip out of the bill. We decide to give it to the server (a woman) directly.
One of Ostby's companions, Megan Doherty, says she felt symptoms after the meal that lead her to believe that her free shot was drugged. Doherty tells Gothamist: "I was really disoriented and had a hard time walking....I got home, but I had a hard time speaking and moving my legs." Ostby and Doherty filed an assault complaint with the police yesterday.
Villa Cemita's Yelp page is full of one star-reviews that mention the incident. A user who was listed as an owner responded to one of the comments, then deleted that response last night. The message explained: "After watching the footage of the surveillance system we saw that the mixologist entered the bathroom just by turning the door handle. Meaning that the door was unlocked, so naturally he assumed that nobody was in the bathroom."
Gothamist identified the employee as Omar Cuatzo, the son of the restaurant's owner. His lawyer sent a statement, which notes: "Mr. Cuatzo, the bartender, vehemently denies any wrongdoing and looks forward to defending himself in a forum more suitable to the allegations than the social media and review sites chosen by the complainant." Here's Ostby's full report from Facebook: