A former K-State student who said she was raped at a Manhattan bar in 2018 has filed a federal lawsuit accusing the establishment of negligence.
The suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court said that O’Malley’s Alley should have had proper security measures in place to prevent sexual assaults and alleges that its staff was not properly trained in maintaining patron safety.
The suit also lists the former and current operator of O’Malleys, Michael Troute and William Porter, respectively, as defendants. Troute died in 2018. Porter could not be reached for comment Thursday.
The Mercury does not identify victims of sexual crimes.
The complaint says the woman visited the bar after midnight on a weekend in February 2018.
The suit alleges that on that night, O’Malley’s was over its occupancy capacity, bartenders had been drinking alcohol, security cameras were not operational, and the lock on the bathroom door was not working.
It also accuses the establishment of not having “effective or reasonable” security staffing nor a safety response plan and that its employees did not have training in managing crowds or the safety of its occupants. The suit said when the bar is full or near capacity, bartenders cannot properly see the bathroom door.
The complaint said the woman drank half of a drink and was waiting for a friend when she went to the restroom. The woman said she locked the door, but didn’t realize the lock was broken, and two men entered and turned the lights off. She said one man pinned her against the wall while the other raped her.
The woman described one assailant as a white man with brown hair wearing a black jacket with a 2014-15 championship patch (the lawsuit didn’t say what championship), boots and jeans, and he was 5 feet 9 inches to 5 feet 11 inches tall. She said the other was a white man, who was about the same height, wearing a black cap.
The woman said one man covered her mouth to keep her from screaming, but the pair left after she kicked and urinated on them.
She called police, who arrived in about 15 minutes to take her report, and they later took her to a hospital to have a sexual assault exam performed.
The suit says bar employees cleaned the bathroom before evidence could be gathered.
The Riley County Police Department asked the public for any information about the case shortly after the incident was reported but has not identified any suspects.
Investigations Capt. Tim Hegarty said in a statement that the case has been deemed inactive, but it could be reopened pending new information. Hegarty said officers dedicated more than 80 hours to the case, and there is no statute of limitations for rape incidents.
“We are always open to the possibility that information may arise which would lead to a resolution of the case,” he said.
The suit said the bar should know that a sexual assault could occur on its premises, and it failed to take preventive measures that could reduce the risk.
The plaintiff seeks more than $75,000 in compensatory damages.
She also is seeking trial in federal court in Kansas City, Kansas. The case is in federal court on the basis of diversity, meaning that the two parties are in different states.