• Woman says she was raped by strippers at gay club

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - Atlanta police are investigating claims that a woman was raped by two dancers at a gay strip club.

    The alleged incident happened last month in a VIP room at Swinging Richard’s on Northside Drive, according to a police report, but police moved in last week. An Atlanta police commander said the case is important to the department but acknowledged evidence should have been collected earlier.

    “We wish we would’ve got it the very next day,” APD Major Crimes Commander Darryl Tolleson said.

    Still, he told Channel 2’s Mark Winne that delays have not hurt the investigation.

    Court records indicate a judge issued a search warrant for the club's address June 14, but a document dated 12 days later said it had not yet been executed. Tolleson said Atlanta police higher-ups told the detective who obtained the warrant not to serve it and that there were better ways to search for the evidence.

    He said supervisors told the detective to obtain a court order, but a judge denied it. Then, the club voluntarily gave police access to what they wanted on July 3 and Tuesday.

    Tolleson said some of what the original search warrant sought didn't exist and some was elsewhere, but because the alleged victim acknowledged an alcohol-impaired memory, the key evidence may turn out to be DNA, which could take months to process.

    “We don’t want to send the message out that by you drinking, it’s your fault. It’s absolutely not,” Tolleson said.

    Herb Schlanger, an attorney for Swinging Richard's, said the club has cooperated fully and has given police everything they've asked for.
       
    He said no search warrant was needed, and he knows of nothing the club would not have provided a month ago. The club is also conducting its own investigation.


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