NEWPORT CITY – Nicholas Woodard, 21, of Coventry, has been charged with sexual assault following a sexual encounter with a woman in the bathroom of a local bar. The woman, who was described by one witness as being about 50 years of age and whose name was withheld by police, told police that she had been raped by a man named "Chris" at Griff's Pub and that the rape had been video taped by other people in the bar.
Woodard pleaded not guilty to the charge; Judge Robert Bent held Woodard on $25,000 bail Tuesday.
The affidavit filed by Det. Jennifer Harlow of the Newport City Police contains contradictory statements by various individuals who allegedly witnessed some or all of the events of that night. Some even admitted recording the incident on their cell phones.
Sgt. Nick Rivers of the Newport City Police spoke to a pub employee who said Woodard didn’t force the woman involved to do anything and it was the woman who started it. The employee said the woman brought Woodard into the women’s restroom and performed sexual acts while other people watched. He said a video showed what happened.
The video showed the act and had audio of some people making comments and apparently cheering Woodard on. Several people, including the woman involved, were heard saying, “No Chris, don’t do it, Chris, Stop Chris.” Rivers’ affidavit states that the woman appeared to be under the influence in the video.
A witness told police that she saw the woman and Woodard kissing at the end of the bar. She said the woman and Woodard disappeared and someone came out of the men’s restroom and said that the two were in there. The witness said she and a few others went into the restroom and saw the woman involved performing an oral sexual act on Woodard. The witness said she recorded the act but later deleted it because she didn’t want it on her phone.
The witness said the woman walked out of the restroom and ordered a drink, then got mad and left when the bartender refused to serve her.
Other witnesses’ accounts backed up the employee’s story.
A second witness said that the woman groped Woodard and tried to kiss him a couple of times. The witness turned over a video he recorded to police.
The bartender told Rivers that he served two drinks to the woman who left around 5 or 5:30 p.m. He said the woman returned later on and ordered the same drink. The bartender said she was touching and kissing Woodard. The bartender also said she made sexual comments.
Woodard met with police on Jan. 24. He said that the woman involved was all over everyone at the pub, hanging on them and trying to initiate sex with them. Woodard said he went to the restroom and the next thing he knew the woman walked in and grabbed him and that people walked in and started taking videos. Woodard said he never had intercourse with her.
Court records state that Woodard told police he was “buzzing” at the time.