A second woman has broken her silence claiming that she was drugged, raped and robbed at a Chicago nightclub, just days after another female patron filed a lawsuit making similar allegations against the establishment.
Liz Capra, who chose to publicly identify herself as an alleged victim of rape at El Hefe nightclub on the city's Near North Side, held a press conference with her lawyers on Monday.
The mother-of-two told reporters she was sexually assaulted after ordering one drink at the bar while watching a football game with friends in 2014.
'I didn't order a roofie,' she said.
Liz Capra, a mom-of-two, held a press conference in Chicago on Monday, claiming that she was drugged, raped and robbed at a local nightclub in October 2014
Capra was flanked by her attorneys, who have filed a lawsuit against El Hefe club alleging negligence and conspiracy
Capra, who now lives out of state, explained that she decided to come forward after learning of the lawsuit brought against El Hefe a week ago by another woman, known only as Jane Doe, and watching a troubling surveillance video that purports to show the 23-year-old plaintiff being led down an alley by a man while club staffers stand idly by and watch her being raped while heavily intoxicated, reported CBS Chicago.
'I'm coming forward now, after seeing the video of Jane Doe, absolutely horrified by what happened to her,' Capra said during the news conference. 'I know it wasn't an isolated incident, and I know that it's happened to other women, and I can't sit back and live with myself knowing that I'm not doing anything to stop it.'
Capra recounted how on October 12, 2014, she headed to El Hefe Mexican restaurant and nightclub with a couple of friends to watch a Chicago Bears game.
According to the woman, she ordered a single drink at the bar, which caused her to black out. Hours later, Capra said she found herself running home to her family.
‘My two girlfriends, who were with me at the time, told me I started acting extremely, extremely out of the ordinary, extremely intoxicated, very fast,’ she said.
Capra said her friends, seeing her condition, tried to lead her into the restroom, but she refused to follow them. When the two women emerged and went to find Capra, she had left.
Capra said she recalls running to her address in Wicker Park, located four miles away from the nightclub, and then being taken to a hospital by her fiance and parents.
A rape kit and a toxicology test a year later confirmed that Capra had been drugged and raped, but Capra said by then the case had gone cold.
El Heje has denied allegations in a previous lawsuit filed by another patron last week and insisted that its security staff did not witness a sexual assault. The exterior of the business in Chicago's River North neighborhood is pictured
Capra also discovered that her phone and wallet containing her identification card had been stolen, and that the perpetrator went on to charge thousands of dollars worth of purchases on her credit cards.
‘I never feel safe anymore the way I used to. I used to be young and free,’ she said. ‘That was taken from me, and I can't ever get that back.’
Lawyers representing both Jane Doe and Capra told reporters they have gathered anecdotal evidence from social media posts suggesting that their clients’ harrowing experiences were not isolated incidents at El Hefe.
‘There’s no doubt in my mind that they were involved in this,’ attorney Robert Chwarzynski Jr said of the drinking establishment. ‘It’s showing that El Hefe is not only encouraging this behavior, but they’re facilitating this behaviour.’
Capra’s legal team also accused staff at El Hefe of tampering with surveillance video from the night of the attack on the woman.
The attorneys, who filed a lawsuit on Capra's behalf claiming negligence and conspiracy, called on Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to launch an investigation into in El Hefe and revoke the club's liquor license.