Posted on: February 26, 2022, 03:22h.
Last updated on: February 26, 2022, 03:22h.
The man who allegedly groped a woman at the Palazzo Las Vegas in The Venetian Resort was arrested this week, according to local news reports. He was identified by Metro police as Alberto Baez-Mesinas, 39, and reportedly was charged with open and gross lewdness.
If convicted, he could be sentenced to as much as a year in jail, KLAS, a local TV station, reported. Baez-Mesinas could also face a $2,000 fine.
KLAS further reported that hotel security officers said Baez-Mesinas was an employee. Casino.org could not immediately confirm that he worked at the gaming property.
The incident took place on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 13). The victim, Ariel Lyndsey, immediately confronted him and slapped him in the face. She cursed at him and asked him for an apology.
On Wednesday, he was charged with the lewdness count. He appeared in local court on Thursday.
Baez-Mesinas later posted bail. A condition of the bail is that he refrains from wrongdoing. He also cannot visit the Palazzo, KSNV, another local TV station, reported.
Baez-Mesinas told police he put his hand up Lyndsey’s skirt as she walked by, the report said. He also groped her buttocks, KLAS said based on a police report.
He “does not know what got the best of him,” Baez-Mesinas further told cops, KLAS adds.
Viral TikTok Video
Baez-Mesinas was pictured in a video shot by Shannon Baker, who was identified by Inside Edition, as a friend of the victim. The video shows events after the groping, and has since gone viral.
It had some 14.3 million views on TikTok as of Saturday. It had some 2 million likes.
Initially, he smirked after being slapped. Then, he went into a casino restroom where he allegedly told other men the victim was “crazy.” When he left the restroom, he was once again confronted by Lyndsey and her female friends. He then ran from the casino area. A casino employee was unable to stop him.
But hotel security later apprehended him. He was identified and interviewed. Eventually, Metro cops were notified.
Baez-Mesinas did not realize he had done something wrong until he was confronted by Lyndsey, the arrest report revealed, KSNV said. That disturbed Lyndsey.
I’m gonna be honest, that’s terrifying,” Lyndsey was quoted by the TV station. “Because that just speaks so loudly for how normalized behavior like that is. And how consent is not even a thing, which is so wrong on so many levels.”
The women chose to post the video on TikTok to spread awareness of the criminal issue. They also wanted the alleged assailant’s identity and face to be known in case he did not get caught, Lyndsey said. She acknowledged in a later video she was “loud and aggressive” in her response. But that was needed to get action, she adds.
Some TikTok posters tried to blame the victim for the attack. She was wearing a shorter, snug black skirt, and her cleavage was showing that evening. But Lyndsey and her friends offered a stern warning for those making such statements.
“It doesn’t matter how you’re dressed, you don’t get to grab a woman,” one of the victim’s friends said in the video.
The victim, who was shaken and crying, was comforted by her friends soon after the attack. The women were in Las Vegas in connection with a work-related trip associated with the Magic fashion trade show. They were heading for dinner when the attack took place.
Casino.org reached to a casino spokesperson Friday for comment about the arrest. There was no immediate statement. Earlier, a casino spokesperson said the man involved in the incident cannot return to the property.
Also, the casino’s “Security Team took action to identify the suspect and are working with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on their investigation,” the earlier statement adds. “We take allegations of assault very seriously and have a zero-tolerance policy for this behavior.”
Groping Gets National Attention
In recent days various media outlets have covered the story. On Friday, in response Lyndsey tweeted:
“What’s crazy is how a woman standing up for herself when being groped in public by a man is making headlines. This is so so sad, those are BASIC boundaries. It shouldn’t be breaking the internet but bc it’s so normalized it’s a big deal. Wtf”