A man has been arrested after an alleged sexual assault at an Atlanta nightclub was streamed on Facebook Live, according to police.
Dominique Williams, 34, turned himself in Tuesday after police obtained a warrant for his arrest on a charge of aggravated sodomy, Atlanta police said in a statement.
According to a police report dated January 20, the alleged assault was reported by a woman who said she had seen an incident streamed on Facebook Live which showed “a black female being groped on her chest and possibly being raped from behind” as she screamed “‘no, stop.’ ”
Officers were unable to find the alleged victim when they arrived at Opera nightclub later that night, according to the incident report. An officer then looked at the video and saw it had been recorded about an hour prior to officers’ arrival, the report said.
“In the video you can clearly hear the female saying, ‘stop, please somebody help me,’ ” the incident report states.
CNN does not identify victims of alleged sexual assault, but the woman’s attorney, L. Chris Stewart, said Williams’ arrest was a “vindication” for her.
Attorney: No evidence of assault
An attorney for Williams, Shequel Ross, said in a statement posted to her Instagram account prior to his arrest that there is “no evidence that supports that Mr. Williams raped or sexually assaulted” the alleged victim.
“Our client and his innocent family members have endured harassment as a result of this rush to judgement (sic) without reviewing facts.” Williams remained in custody Thursday afternoon.
The Facebook video was taken down shortly after the alleged assault. A spokesperson for the company told CNN that Facebook does “not allow content that depicts sexual violence or assault.”
The nightclub addressed the incident in a brief statement on its Facebook page the day after it was reported, saying it was cooperating with police and “will continue to aid and support their investigation in any way we can.”
An attorney for Opera, Bryan Knight, reiterated the club’s cooperation with authorities in an updated statement on Tuesday, saying, “we will continue to provide Atlanta Police Department with any information and footage which may help the investigation.”
Media reports about the alleged assault also sparked demonstrations outside the club. According to CNN affiliate WGCL, days after the alleged assault, a group of men and women showed up and began chanting the victim’s name.
One of the demonstration’s organizers, Sabrina Peterson, told CNN the protest was against “bystander culture,” referring to people in the club who could have helped the alleged victim but did not.
“It just hurt me to my core,” Peterson said. “That could have been me. That could have been any amount of people.”
Local promoter and radio host Su Solo told WGCL the alleged assault made her “sick to my stomach.”
“I just don’t understand when we got to a point when ‘no’ isn’t enough,” she said. “Even on camera. Even on camera you’re bold enough to be on film. This is a bold time for predators, but I also think that the culture is shifting. I think women have become way more independent than we were before.”