New Orleans strip club owner charged with raping drunk 16-year-old

Published 8:23 am Friday, December 6, 2019

The owner of a strip club in a popular New Orleans entertainment district has been charged with raping an intoxicated 16-year-old girl who was visiting the French Quarter during a trip with friends.

Louisiana agencies had been investigating complaints of underage dancers, underage drinking and prostitution at the club, authorities said.

The owner of Bourbon Street’s Kama Sutra Cabaret, 36-year-old Vishal Motwani, is charged with third-degree rape, false imprisonment and indecent behavior with a minor, New Orleans police said in an affidavit obtained by news outlets this week.

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Club employee Kenneth Rancifer, 40, is accused of leading the girl to Motwani’s office where the attack allegedly happened. He’s charged with kidnapping and being a principal to rape, the documents show.

The Bourbon Street club was closed and had its liquor license suspended in February as the state Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control investigated complaints against its conduct, the agency told news outlets on Thursday. The rape investigation apparently began around the same time, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported.

The victim told police she was allowed into Kama Sutra in November 2018 without having to show identification, the police affidavit said. The girl said a dancer gave her alcohol and brought her to a private booth to coach her on stripping when Rancifer came in and invited her to Motwani’s office.

Motwani then asked the girl to come home with him, offering to pay her, buy her a car and saying he was “a very important guy” in town. He eventually raped her, police documents said.

Security camera video showed a friend helping the girl leave the club that night, investigators said.

Motwani is a nephew of French Quarter property owner Mike Motwani, whose attorney said the two are estranged. An attorney for Vishal Motwani declined comment to news outlets on the allegations.