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    Charly’s Bar in Bad Ischl

    Waitress Becomes Austria's First to Press Charges Over New Year Sex Attacks

    © Sputnik / Armin Siebert
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    A waitress at a bar in Austria, which controversially banned asylum seekers after some of them sexually harassed the female clients there, is pressing charges after migrants sexually assaulted her on New Year's Eve, she told Sputnik.

    Steffi G, a 19 year old waitress at Charly's Bar in the Austrian town of Bad Ischl, told Sputnik German that she is pressing charges after migrants sexually assaulted her on New Year's Eve.

    Charly's Bar attracted attention earlier this month when it banned asylum seekers from entering its premises because some had attacked staff and patrons. 

    Owner Karin Siebrecht-Janisch inspired a heated reaction on social networks when she posted that "we are now again asylum seeker free," after some committed attacks on women in her bar on New Year's Eve.

    "Asylum seekers began visiting my bar as guests in November, and there were many who, more and more, harassed my female guests. They groped, grabbed, they stared, followed them to the toilet or outside the front door," Siebrecht-Janisch explained the ban.

    Why did Charly's owner ban #refugees from her bar? "Many of them more and more often bothered my female guests — touched…

    Posted by Sputnik on Thursday, 14 January 2016

    On New Year's Eve, waitress Steffi G alleges she was sexually harassed by five men, who touched her breasts and bottom, and has now officially complained to police.

    Security guard Peter G, who was working in the bar that night, told Sputnik that unfortunately the attack was not an isolated incident.

    "Everyone is focused on New Year's Eve in Charly's, but such incidents happened here before. Fighting, groping of staff and guests. On New Year's Eve drinks were just taken from guests, they would take them from the table without asking and pour it out for themselves," Peter said.

    After Steffi G informed the police about the assault she was taken to the Altenheim Sarsteinerstiftung asylum reception center, where 80 asylum seekers are housed. When she was there, she felt her complaint was not taken seriously, until she produced a photo of the men who assaulted her.

    "Luckily I had a photo on my mobile phone," Steffi told Sputnik.

    "And there were the five from New Year's Eve. Earlier I hadn't been able to identify their faces, unfortunately. The supervisor had laughed and thought then that nothing would come out of it."

    "When I showed her the photo she was embarrassed that five refugees from her establishment were in it."

    Kellnerin in Charly’s Bar im österreichischen Bad Ischl
    © Sputnik / Armin Siebert
    A waitress in Charly’s Bar in the Austrian town of Bad Ischl
    Steffi G said that the bar was used to having foreign guests, but that recent newcomers are different to those who came before.

    "We have a lot of foreigners in our bar – Turks, Albanians, all sorts. And we are not in any way xenophobic. It's not about that. I'm not saying that all asylum seekers are like that."

    "It's just about the people in question. These asylum seekers soon started coming often, and from the beginning behaved badly and drew attention. It began with 'I love you,' and handholding. But then they started grabbing girls' butts." 

    "I hope that those five individuals admit what they did and for example get a curfew. These five need to see that in Austria they can't just do whatever they want," said Steffi, who has spoken to other women assaulted the same night and urged them to come forward and report assaults.

    "I am not xenophobic, nor racist. But I have been attacked personally, that's why I have made a complaint."

    Bar owner Karin Siebrecht-Janisch said that not only has Steffi G had to endure sexual harassment, she has also been attacked for speaking out over the attacks.

    "My waitress had her tire slashed. She went to the garage and they said to her no, you didn't just run over something, someone definitely put a knife or screwdriver into the tire."


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