Crime & Safety

CCPD investigates sexual assault involving popular Savannah bar

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) - The Chatham County Police Department is investigating a sexual assault involving one of Savannah's most popular nightlife spots.

On Friday night a woman says she was at Social Club on Congress Street in Savannah and woke up the next morning in a hotel on the I-95 corridor having been a victim of sexual assault.

"It's never about what a person wore or didn't wear, how much they drink," Executive Director of the Rape Crisis Center of the Coastal Empire Kesha Gibson-Carter said.

According to police, the woman can only say she says the man responsible is a white man she didn't know.

The general manager of Social Club declined to speak on camera because, at the time, say he hadn't been approached by police but says he would cooperate with police if needed.

"Over 40 percent of rape cases involve alcohol. Here in Savannah, that number has increased to over 51 percent, " Gibson-Carter said.

In 2015 the RCOCE started a Bar Bystander Program to provide awareness and advocacy for employees and their patrons.

Gibson-Carter says she wants bars and restaurants to "understand vulnerabilities that exist within their establishment as it related to overconsumption and over serving as well."

One of the more than 20 places to take part in the free training so far is Bar-Food.

"We don't want anybody to get hurt. Especially in this instance where it's easily avoidable," owner Paula Letcher said. "If someone needs help, there's no reason for us not to help them or help that other person leave."  

Both women recommend people don't leave their drinks unattended, stay in a pack with friends, develop a plan of action should a group get separated.

Anyone with information about the sexual assault is asked to call police or CrimeStoppers immediately at 912-234-2020. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may qualify for a cash reward.


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