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Quincy nightclub owner charged with aggravated battery

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SteveHoman

QUINCY (WGEM) -- The Adams County State’s Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that it had charged The Barn nightclub owner, Steven Homan, 47, with one count of Aggravated Battery, a Class 3 Felony.

The charge stems from an incident at the club on April 4 when Quincy University student Jazzpher Evans, 19, alleged that she was attacked by Homan.

A charging document filed in Adams County Circuit Court alleges Homan "knowingly made physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature" with Evans.

The document also alleges Homan "placed his arm around the neck of (Evans) and drug her for 20 seconds."

State's Attorney Gary Farha and Quincy Police Chief Rob Copley, through a spokesperson, declined WGEM News' request for interviews on Wednesday.

In a news release, Farha said his office learned of the alleged attack at The Barn on April 6.

"Once aware of the incident, the State’s Attorney’s Office worked extensively with the Quincy Police Department in the investigation. This investigation included obtaining and reviewing all available surveillance tapes, reviewing police body camera footage, identifying possible witnesses, and interviewing those witnesses," Farha stated in the written release.

"We have consulted with the victim and her attorney and look forward to meeting with them and the victim’s family.  They are aware of the decision that we are announcing today and understand our legal and evidentiary reasoning," Farha added.

Farha stated his staff attended a recent meeting of the Human Rights Commission and read social media comments about the allegations.

Farha stated in the release, "rumors and speculation circulating in the community and on social media are, at best, incomplete, and are often incorrect, false, and misleading."

RELATED: Nightclub investigation in State’s Attorney’s hands

Quincy Police reported Wednesday that the incident also sparked an investigation into possible liquor license violations at The Barn.

Police said that investigation will finish in the next couple of days and will be sent to Mayor Kyle Moore for review. Moore is the city's liquor commissioner and could take action against the establishment's liquor license.

During a press conference on April 8 organized by Evan's attorney, Evans recounted the events of the night at The Barn.

RELATED: QU student speaks publicly for the first time following alleged assault

Evans said while she and her friends were standing by the DJ booth she saw Homan out of the corner of her eye approach her. Evans alleged that Homan shoved her against the wall and held her there.

Evans added she said to Homan, "please don't grab me like that" and put her hand up to defend herself.

Evans said Homan then began to scream at her and told her to "get the F out." Evans also claimed Homan spit in her face, grabbed her, and threw her to the ground.

Jazzpher Evans
(Courtesy of Evans)

Evans said he then picked her up and began choking her. She said she felt herself passing out as her friend begged Homan to stop and said, "that's a girl, don't do that to her."

Evans said she then woke up outside on the ground bleeding. She said she walked over to some nearby police officers and tried the explain the situation. She said they would not help her and she eventually left.

During that same press conference, Evans' attorney, Keenan J. Saulter of Saulter Law P.C. in Homewood, Illinois, said the nightclub had cameras pointed in the direction of where the "attack occurred," but he questioned how fast the Quincy Police Department acted to secure the evidence and whether or not any evidence was destroyed.

Saulter stopped short of alleging anything improper on behalf of the Quincy Police Department, but he said he had significant concerns.

Saulter said everything should have been caught on video, but added, "if you are relying on the individual who was the perpetrator of the attack, who's also the owner, to preserve video of him committing a violent felony. So, we're concerned the video doesn't exist."

Saulter also called on the Quincy Police Department to act more swiftly.

Last week, Quincy Police Chief Rob Copley said that officers were watching police body camera video and security camera video from the bar. He said they were also interviewing multiple witnesses.

Copley also asked anyone with information or video to come forward calling it a "complex investigation."

Both Evans and the Homan have declined WGEM's requests for on-camera interviews.

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