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I was sexually assulted at a bar by a bouncer there, I'm also 20 and they were letting me drink, can I press charges?

Boston, MA |

I would like to press charges but dont know if I could win this because I am under age, although they were letting me drink, I had a friend that bought me a drink from the bar as well, could they press charges against him for that? As a young women I would like to finally stand up for all of us that are grabbed at and harrassed. I was drinking in their bar, underage, and was sexually assulted by their bouncer, is this a case I could win?

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Filed under: Civil rights
Attorney answers 3


Yes you could win a case where you were sexually assaulted. These cases are very serious and I handle them. Please call me right away to discuss the details in private. You will harm your case if you post any more information on the internet or discuss this with anyone in detail. I am available by phone this afternoon. Joseph Chancellor (617) 725-2675


I am sorry that this happened to you, and admire your courage in wanting to stand up for yourself and other women like you. Depending on what exactly the bartender did, and how it has affected you, there could both be a criminal prosecution and a civil lawsuit for monetary damages as a result of the bartender's conduct. While it is possible that your friend could be prosecuted for buying you a drink, the chance of that is fairly low. The police are more likely to focus on the sexual assault and the bar's conduct in letting you in in the first place. In all sexual assaults, reporting the crime to police promptly is critical. Even if you decide later that you don't want to go forward with a criminal prosecution, reporting the crime early on gives you the best chance of success at both a criminal prosecution and a civil lawsuit. You should also consult with an attorney who specializes in this area to discuss all your rights and options.


You could report this incident to the police. The longer you wait, the more suspect your claim will appear. In the criminal context, it is not a case of you winning or not winning, as it is the Commonwealth/state who will prosecute the case on your behalf. In order to convict the defendant, the Commonwealth must prove the crime charged beyond all reasonable doubt, which is high bar.

It is a crime to sexually assault somebody, even if they were underage drinking in a bar, but expect that a good defense attorney will use the fact that you were engaged in underage drinking to impeach your credibility at trial, as well as any other skeletons you may have in your closet. This case could be one of "he said, she said", in which case the credibility of the witnesses is crucial. It would help your credibility to have witnesses who can support your story. Know that you will technically face criminal exposure because you were drinking underage, but it is not likely that the prosecutor's office will charge a victim of a sexual assault with such a minor charge. Good luck.