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Texas bar owner indicted for rape of unconscious woman at bar, hotel

The owner of a popular bar in Fort Worth has been indicted after being arrested and charged with raping a woman who was too drunk to consent.
Israel Espiricueta (Austin Police Department)

Warning: The details of the story may be too graphic for some readers.

FORT WORTH -- The owner of a popular bar in Fort Worth has been indicted after being arrested and charged with raping a woman who was too drunk to consent.

Israel Espiricueta, 41, was arrested in February for the incident reported last December.

The victim told police that she was in and out of consciousness in a hotel room as the suspect raped her, the warrant states.

But police later found that the sexual assault appears to have begun at the bar itself.


Officers were called Christmas Eve to a Fort Worth hospital, where a woman told them she had been drinking the night before and met up with friends at The Library bar on Houston Street. She knew some of the employees, so she was let in after closing time at 2 a.m., the warrant states.

At one point she said she was approached by Espiricueta, who she spoke with privately before he asked if she wanted to get a hotel room, the warrant states. She told him she would go if others went to continue hanging out, but she didn't want to go with him alone.

She then told police she continued drinking and had a hard time recalling what happened later that morning. One of her final memories was of her sitting at the bar, then she woke up in the passenger seat of the suspect's truck, she said.

She was in and out of consciousness, she told police, but woke up twice to Espiricueta having sex with her, the warrant states. She told police Espiricueta wanted her to tell him she "loves" him, and she complied before passing out again.

When she woke up in the afternoon, the warrant states, she was wearing men's underwear and noticed a "significant amount of blood" on the sheets. Espiricueta told her "boy, it looks like I murdered you last night," the warrant reveals.

A rape examination at the hospital later revealed the woman had "multiple tears and abrasions," police said.

Eventually, after denying more advances from the suspect, the victim said she asked him to drive her back to the bar so she could find her car.


After describing the hotel room she was in to police, they learned she had been taken to the Hampton Inn and Suites on Commerce Street, the warrant reveals.

They reviewed surveillance video from the lobby of the hotel showing the victim drunk and slouching on a couch while Espiricueta booked a hotel room with the desk.


When police asked for surveillance video from The Library bar, the assistant manager "was evasive and uncooperative," the warrant states, prompting police to get a search warrant for the footage.

At about 5:22 a.m., the video shows the victim sit down with her head and arms on the bar. Espiricueta comes up to her and appears to take video or pictures of her with his phone. She remains motionless the entire time, while another person was "posing" with her for pictures, the warrant states.

Witnesses are seen coming up to the victim and poking her or lifting her head, but she remains motionless.

After everyone leaves, Espiricueta can be seen on video pulling the victim's body into an upright position, with her torso and arms laying on the bar. The suspect then stands behind her, "thrusting his hips in a motion [that] is consistent with a person having sexual intercourse,'" the warrant states.

A few minutes later, Espiricueta stops and is able to wake the victim briefly to guide her out of the bar. That's when police believe he drove them to the hotel.

When officers spoke with the victim about the surveillance video, she told them she had "no recollection of a sexual act" happening at the bar.

Espiricueta was arrested at his home in Austin in February and has since posted bail.

On June 8, the Star-Telegram reported that he had been indicted for sexual assault. If convicted, he faces two to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

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