Atlanta police are investigating online video of what appears to show a woman being sexually assaulted on the dance floor at the Opera nightclub on Saturday.
In a police report obtained by Atlanta Black Star, Officer L. Malskis was dispatched to the nightclub early Sunday morning after receiving “information about a possible sexual assault” that was streamed via Facebook live in a series of videos from inside the popular venue.
In the clips, the female victim is seen dancing as a man stands closely behind her. The woman can be heard pleading for help and repeatedly yelling “please stop” as the man allegedly assaults her in the middle of the crowded nightclub.
Police say they’ve since contacted the man in question and have launched an investigation into the incident. No arrests have been made. Police said they’ve also made contact with the victim, who’s no longer in the state of Georgia but is cooperating with investigators.
The department’s Special Victims Unit is now handling the case. Atlanta Black Star is not naming the victim.
In a statement provided to ABS, the department said it “will not be releasing the male’s name at this time, nor any other details about the Department’s ongoing investigation.”
Local station WSB-TV reported the woman was at the club celebrating a birthday when the alleged assault unfolded. She told police someone had slipped drugs in her drink and then violated her on the dance floor. The victim, who was already filming her birthday festivities on Facebook Live, continued streaming as she was “mounted” from behind.
A 911 caller told police she saw a Facebook video of a Black woman being “groped on her chest” and possibly “raped” from behind as she loudly protested. Officers arrived at the club on Crescent Avenue to investigate but could not locate the victim.
Officers reviewed the video again, only to realize it had been recorded an hour before they arrived. The responding officer noted that the woman in the video never contacted the police about the incident.
The videos have since been removed from Facebook, as the sexually violent nature violates the platform’s community standards. Several versions of the filmed assault are still floating on the web, however, while some users are sharing still shots from the footage in hopes of identifying the assailant.
On Tuesday, before her Facebook account was deleted, the woman posted a brief video stating that a photo of her and a man that was published earlier in the day on her social media wasn’t her attacker. “We found him,” she said. “And all I want is justice.”
In a statement, Opera Nightclub said it is cooperating with the police investigation.
“At this time we have met with the Atlanta Police Department and have provided them with everything they have requested,” management for the nightclub wrote in a Sunday Facebook post. “We’ll continue to aid and support their investigation in any way we can. We’ve been asked to defer any further questions to the Atlanta Police Department Public Affairs Unit.”
Watch more in the video below.