The Union Cuts Ties With Gunn After Rape Allegation

Posted on:

< < Back to

Update 10/18/17 – The attorney for the former co-owner of The Union is denying any wrongdoing by his client.

Robert Toy released an emailed statement on behalf of Eric Gunn on Wednesday.

“Mr. Gunn is a private person who believes he has been defamed by another,” Toy wrote in the email.

When asked by WOUB whether a defamation lawsuit will be filed and, if so, when that would be happening, Toy did not respond.

Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said he had no comment about the allegations and whether the prosecutor’s office is looking into the claims.

The Union Bar has said they have cut ties from one its owners after allegations of rape were leveled against him.

In a Facebook post, the bar said they are no longer working with Eric Gunn, a minority stakeholder. They said they made the decision based on reports of a rape, that a woman said occurred more than a decade ago, surfaced on Facebook.

In a separate post to the People’s Justice League on Monday, a woman said she was “raped by Eric Gunn, co-owner of the Union and former co-owner of Haffa’s Records.”

Gunn declined to comment when contacted by WOUB, referring all questions to his attorney, Robert Toy. Toy was not available at his law office and did not answer calls to his cell phone.

The Athens Police Department said there are no records of cases filed against Gunn.

The woman accuses Gunn of serving her shots during a night when she was dealing with the breakup of her marriage.

“I got wasted – I’m not proud but it’s how I dealt with problems back then,” she wrote in the post.

After she was “too drunk to walk home,” she said she thought Gunn was taking her home.

“Then I’m waking up in his bed, scared and confused, and unable to find items of clothing,” the post stated.

The woman, who said she was in a band that played at The Union and helped clean the space for extra money, said she returned to the bar and the same situation happened again after a night of heavy drinking.

“Part of me wonders if I continued to associate with him in a subconscious effort to understand what had happened to me – to put to rest any doubt of whether he was capable of intentionally hurting me,” she wrote.

Later, after her boss showed concern for her, she assured her there was nothing to worry about.

“Gunn was my friend,” she wrote. “It never dawned on me that he was a predator who knew that I (was) an easy target.”

She said she never came forward due to fear of judgment. But she is coming forward now because she’s heard there may be additional victims.

“I expect to get shredded,” she wrote. “I know that Haffa’s and The Union are icons. I expect people to defend what they love.”

The statement was prefaced with a message from the People’s Justice League, saying anyone wanting to report sexual violence or needing help can contact the Southeast Ohio Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program at 1-888-597-7267.

The Survivor Advocacy Program also has a 24/7 crisis line, at (740) 597-7233, and is located at Lindley 038 for legal, medical and university-related help.