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The Union on Oct. 18, 2018. (FILE)

The Union owner sues woman for defamation

The Union Bar’s owner has filed a civil complaint against a woman who said the man who allegedly raped her is still an owner of the bar.

Andrew Studniarz, owner of The Union Bar at 18 West Union, LLC, filed a civil complaint and temporary restraining order in the Athens County Court of Common Pleas on Monday against Cara Chatfield Rohrbaugh, a former Athens resident.

Studniarz alleged that Rohrbaugh “engaged in a campaign of spreading false, destructive and defamatory statements and rumors” by making several posts on Facebook stating that the bar was still owned by Eric Gunn and that Gunn still earned a share of the bar’s profits. Studniarz is seeking at least $25,000 in damages for defamation, fraud, civil conspiracy, interference with a business relationship and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

In October 2017, Rohrbaugh wrote on Facebook that Gunn had raped her on two occasions more than 10 years ago. The Union wrote on Facebook on Oct. 17, 2017, that the permanent departure of Gunn was “necessary and in the best interest of all involved parties” and that the sole owner of the bar would be Studniarz. 

At the time of the alleged assault, Gunn was neither an owner nor employee of The Union, according to court documents. Gunn has not been charged with a crime in connection to the incident. 

In a statement, Rohrbaugh wrote that the suit was an act of intimidation by Studniarz. 

“I think it is really sad that my pleas for justice have been met with a lawsuit. I have been very clear in my writings that what I desire is accountability,” she wrote in a public Facebook post. “I simply wanted Andy to admit to his lack of transparency regarding last year's statement and his ongoing business relationship with my rapist.”

She has also asked anyone else victimized by Gunn to contact her. 

Robert Rittenhouse, a lawyer for The Union, sent a Facebook message to Rohrbaugh on Oct. 2 stating that The Union was not owned by Gunn and that The Union was willing to answer any questions she had, according to court documents, but Rohrbaugh did not respond to the messages. 

Rohrbaugh posted to her Facebook page on Oct. 4 stating that a Department of Commerce employee had confirmed that Gunn was still an owner of The Union. Rohrbaugh posted to her Facebook account on Oct. 6, stating that “If you play at the Union, you are making money for a rapist at my expense.” 

That same day, counsel for The Union sent another private message to Rohrbaugh through Facebook, stating that Gunn had no ownership in the bar. The suit claims that because his sale was seller-financed and there was collateral, the information the Department of Commerce gave her was inaccurate. 

Studniarz claims he has sustained embarrassment, humiliation, damage to his reputation and monetary damage because of Rohrbaugh’s posts. 

@AshtonNichols_

an614816@ohio.edu

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