Underage woman claims she was raped after being served alcohol at Houston-area restaurant, files lawsuit

July 26, 2017 — KPRC – HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – On June 11, 20-year-old Haylea Spillman said her late lunch at Texas Mesquite Grill turned into a violent night she will never forget.  Now the Harris County Sheriff’s Office is investigating Spillman’s rape allegations.

Spillman told investigators she was drinking water when a waiter allegedly suggested something stronger.  “He offered me beer. I said, ‘Something sweet.’ He said, ‘Moscato.’ (I said) ‘Moscato’s fine.’ That’s when he started serving me,” Spillman said.  Spillman said no one in the restaurant asked to see her ID.  Spillman’s lawsuit said two managers served her alcohol and offered free drinks. Spillman said at one point a manager groped her.

“After I became clearly intoxicated, (they were) continuing to serve me and that affects my decision-making,” Spillman said.  Later that night, Spillman told investigators that a female manager invited her to her home, which she shared with her boyfriend and another male roommate who had also been at the restaurant.

She said she was in and out of consciousness when she realized the two men were raping her.  In a statement, the restaurant owner called the allegations false, and said:  “At this point, in our ongoing investigation, Texas Mesquite can say we deny any and all claims against our restaurant. We are a family-run restaurant that condemns all of the alleged actions against us.”

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is investigating the restaurant, and now she is suing the restaurant and some of its employees and patrons for what she said was their role in her assault.

KPRC does not typically identify victims of rape, but Spillman said she wants to share her story as a warning to others.  “Investigators from TABC will be working with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office to determine if the policies or practices of the retailer contributed to the alleged sexual assault. We will also take a close look at the business itself to determine if there is a pattern of violations related to the sale of alcohol to minors or intoxicated persons,” a spokesperson for TABC said.

TABC said if they find the restaurant broke the law it could result in fines or temporary suspension of the liquor permit.

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