Fort Worth

Mistrial Declared After Former Owner of Fort Worth's Library Bar Accused of Sexual Assault

Victim was 'unconscious or physically unable to resist,' police say

A trial against a former bar owner accused of sexual assault ended in a mistrial Thursday. He's accused of sexually assaulting a female customer inside the Fort Worth business in an attack that was captured on surveillance cameras.

Israel Espiricueta, 42, of Austin, was the owner of the Library Bar in downtown Fort Worth and he was accused of assaulting a woman while she was "unconscious or physically unable to resist," according to a criminal complaint.

The alleged attack occurred on Dec. 23, 2017.

According to his arrest warrant, the victim said she was drinking and socializing after hours with Espiricueta and other employees.

Surveillance cameras inside the bar captured what happened. 

The woman passed out and was placed on top of the bar where the "suspect took several videos or photographs" as she remained motionless, "sitting at the bar with her face resting on top of her folded arms," police said in the warrant.

Another person was "posing" next to the victim and others were "poking the victim's head and face," police said. She did not respond.

Later, the suspect took her to a nearby hotel, where the assault continued, police said. 

"Tell me you love me, I want to hear you say it," she quoted Espiricueta as saying.

Police said employees at the bar were uncooperative in releasing the surveillance video even after officers obtained a search warrant. They had to force their way into the office to get it, they said.

Espiricueta was arrested in Austin in late February and released on bond, according to jail records.

The Library, at the corner of 6th and Houston Street, is located just outside of Sundance Square. A Certificate of Amendment filed in October 2018 showed the owners of the Library Bar Fort Worth, LLC did not include Espiricueta.

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