Claim: Female Googler sexually assaulted by Twitter engineer

A female Googler has accused a Twitter engineer of sexually assaulting her during an ApacheCon after-party.

The incident allegedly took place in an Irish-themed pub located near the event in Atlanta, Georgia. 

“The party moved up to my room. We had beer, and beer pong, and altogether too many people crammed in. I lay across the bed, sat on laps, generally tried to squish in to any available space and get time to talk to all the fabulous people thronging the place,” Noirin Shirley wrote in a personal blog post.

“At some point, it was too late and too loud to reasonably continue. Everyone cleared out, and we headed to the Irish pub next door. Some food, a few more beers. Squeezing everyone up so I could sit next to someone I wanted to talk to. Laughing at the events of the week, and the night.”

According to Shirley, the accused engineer “called her over” to talk as she was about to enter the loo (bathroom). 

“This wasn’t an unusual request, and it wasn’t one I expected to end the way it did,” she explained.

“[But] he brought me in to the snug, and sat up on a stool. He grabbed me, pulled me in to him, and kissed me. I tried to push him off, and told him I wasn’t interested. He responded by jamming his hand into my underwear and fumbling.”

Fortunately, Shirley managed to break away and head back to the group inside the pub. 

She later contacted the event planning committee to report the incident, as well as the local Atlanta police department.

“[Sadly], it’s not the first time something like this has happened to me, at all. It’s not the first time it’s happened to me at a tech conference. But it is the first time I’ve spoken out about it in this way, because I’m tired of the sense that some idiot can ruin my day and never have to answer for it.

“I’m tired of the fear. I’m tired of people who think I should wear something different. I’m tired of people who think I should avoid having a beer in case my vigilance lapses for a moment. I’m tired of people who say that guys can’t read me right and I have to read them, and avoid giving the wrong impression.

“It is not my job to avoid getting assaulted. It is everyone else’s job to avoid assaulting me. Dozens of guys succeeded at that job, across the week. In the pub, in the stairwell, on the MARTA, in my bedroom. One guy failed, and it’s his fault.”

Additional information and commentary can be found here, on Gawker.

Note: A TechCrunch post describing the alleged incident has been removed, while the accused’s Twitter account appears to have been suspended.  

Update: The accused’s Twitter account is now back online.