Crime

Bartender accused of raping woman he met at New Orleans bar

MATT SLEDGE

THE NEW ORLEANS ADVOCATE

Steinvorth
Steinvorth

A celebrated former bartender at the Sazerac Bar is accused of raping a woman he met there in April, a month after he stopped working at the popular Roosevelt Hotel bar and a few years after he was acquitted of sexual battery but convicted of a lesser charge in another case.

Police booked Matthew Steinvorth, 33, on a count of second-degree rape on May 28, more than a month after a woman came forward to authorities with her allegations against him.

Steinvorth, a resident of the Bayou St. John neighborhood, remained in jail Friday in lieu of $250,000 bail. His attorney declined to comment on the case.

The woman told investigators, according to a warrant signed by NOPD Sex Crimes Unit Detective Anya Coleman, that she went to the Sazerac Bar on the night of April 18 after attending a concert and met a man with “bright blue eyes” and curly hair.

As her friends left the bar, the woman said, she told them she would take an Uber home and continued talking with the man.

The woman said that when her new companion offered to buy her a drink, she ordered a Sazerac. As the bartender put together the legendary drink, according to the warrant, the man commented on how “awesome and wonderful of a mixologist” the bartender was.

The woman told investigators that the last thing she remembered was complimenting the bartender as well. She said she “then was awakened by the male who purchased her drink straddling her” and repeatedly penetrating her.

The woman said she was shocked and attempted to pull away, but the man grabbed her neck and continued until he ejaculated onto her stomach and lower pelvic area. The woman said she felt “numb” and “as if she was having an out of body experience.”

Dehydrated and thirsty, the woman said, she realized she was inside someone’s home as she passed family photos and kids’ toys on her way to a kitchen for a glass of water. She said she also spotted a “broken plate with a white powdery substance on it.”

The woman said she collected her clothes and made the “silent” man drop her off at her home about 4:15 a.m. April 19, but not before he briefly grabbed her iPhone, according to the warrant.

The woman told police that she later concluded the man took the phone to delete his contact number but that he failed to delete her call logs.

The woman said she felt “wired” after the encounter and “believed something was slipped into her drink by the suspect.”

That afternoon, police said, the woman went to the University Medical Center for a sexual assault examination, although the warrant does not state whether any DNA from the man was collected or analyzed.

For more, visit The New Orleans Advocate's website.

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