Local/State

Mother: Daughter raped after drinking Four Loko

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Wake County mother said her daughter was raped after drinking a controversial drink that was targeted by the FDA before it was reformulated.

ABC11 is not identifying either the mother or her daughter because of the nature of the allegations.

The mother said the trouble began last Saturday night after the teen met up with two other girlfriends at a McDonald's restaurant on New Bern Avenue in Raleigh. That's when one of the girlfriends called her friends, who happened to be three guys.

When they showed up, the girls followed them to an apartment in Holly Springs.

"She's sweet. She cares for others. All she was trying to do was protect those other girls," said the mother.

The girl's mother said the guys gave the underage girls Four Loko. The malt-liquor based drink has about as much alcohol as four 12-ounce cans of beer.

"The guys didn't drink this drink," said the mother. "They drank another kind of beer and the girls got drunk really quick."

Her daughter sensed her surroundings had gotten out-of-control and locked herself in a bathroom. However, one of the guys threatened to shoot her if she didn't come out. So she opened the door and then passed out. When she came to, she said the same man was raping her.

"To the man, she said, 'I'm a good girl. Don't! Please don't,'" said the mother. "And she said, 'stop!'"

The teen managed to escape but not before all three guys allegedly raped one of her other friends. The girl said that her friend was under the powerful influence of Four Loko.

"I want to be able to forgive this man one day," said the mother. "But I just can't right now because he stole my baby's virginity. She was saving herself for marriage. She was a good girl."

In addition to wanting arrests in the case, the mother told ABC11 she'd like to see Four Loko taken off the shelf. She said the level of alcohol contained in the fruity beverage is not immediately apparent to an inexperienced drinker - and could be considered equivalent to a date-rape drug.

"I just want them to find these guys so they don't hurt anybody else again," she said.

Four Loko came under strong pressure from the Food and Drug Administration in 2010 for its high combination of alcohol and caffeine. The maker voluntarily reformulated the drink to remove the caffeine and other stimulants, but it still contains up to 12-percent alcohol.

The Federal Trade Commission also expressed concerns last year because it said Four Loko was marketed as a single-serving beverage but contains as much alcohol as 4-5 beers.

"Deception about alcohol content is dangerous to consumers, and it's a serious concern for the FTC," said David Vladeck, Director of the agency's Bureau of Consumer Protection in a news release issued October 3.

The FTC said Four Loko's maker agreed to put information about alcohol content on the label and to make the cans re-sealable.

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wake county, sex offense, local/state
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