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Police: Ambridge Bar Rape Caught On Surveillance


AMBRIDGE, Pa.,None - Police said an Ambridge bartender has been accused of raping a female customer after hours who claims she was unconscious and drugged at the time.

James Sumpter, 37, of Ambridge, is charged with rape of an unconscious person and with furnishing alcohol to an intoxicated person. He is being held in the Beaver County Jail awaiting a preliminary hearing Jan. 3.

Police said the owner of the Firehouse Lounge has cooperated in the investigation and that the woman reported the incident shortly after it ended Sunday morning. According to the criminal complaint, the incident was also caught on surveillance video.

The owner said Sumpter has only worked there for a few weeks.

Police said the 47-year-old woman claims she was drugged and raped for about three hours after the bar closed early Sunday.

"The investigation revealed that the assault took place over a several-hour period," said Officer Zadock Dismuke. "The evidence we obtained showed that it began after the bar closed and continued until about 5 a.m."

"Clearly on the video, it depicted that the victim's arms were draped over his, and her head was leaned to the side, suggesting that she was not conscious or alert," the complaint said.

The criminal complaint said after Sumpter raped the woman, she remained on the floor unconscious for the next two hours until he woke her at 5 a.m.

The alleged victim was checked out by a doctor, who reported evidence of a rape.

Sumpter had nothing to say to Channel 11 News cameras as he was being taken from the Ambridge Police Station.

"Everyone at the bar has been very cooperative with us, the manager, the management," said Dismuke. "We couldn't ask for anything more. Everybody has been cooperative and that gave us a positive ending to this crime."

Dismuke also said the fact that the alleged victim came forward immediately made it much easier to arrest a suspect.

"We are lucky our victim was very cooperative and adamant about getting this case solved," he said. "We are happy that we could solve it in a quick amount of time."

Sumpter has had past arrests on charges of driving under the influence and other traffic violations.

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