Needle Vinyl Tavern, 10524 Jasper Avenue, closed after an employee made sexual assault allegations against a co-owner. James Leder pleaded guilty to a count of sexual assault on Friday, June 14, 2019.
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The former co-owner of a defunct Jasper Avenue tavern and music venue has pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault, admitting to inappropriately touching an employee.James Leder, formerly one of three owners of the Needle Vinyl Tavern, entered the guilty plea in Edmonton provincial court Friday.According to an agreed statement of facts entered with the court, Leder admitted to grabbing a coworker’s buttocks four times while drunk at the bar on March 10, 2017.The bar closed temporarily and eventually for good after the employee came forward in November 2017. Several musicians booked to play the venue dropped out, citing the allegations.Leder wore jeans, a grey sweater and glasses and did not address the court during the brief appearance.The complainant in the case, Brittany Rudyck, successfully applied to have the mandatory publication ban on her name lifted. She worked as a bartender at the bar before being promoted to social media manager.
The Needle Vinyl Tavern seen in 2017.
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According to the agreed facts, Leder was intoxicated when he arrived at the bar that night.After commenting on Rudyck’s appearance, he grabbed her buttocks while she was working near the bar. He grabbed her rear a second time, despite being told to stop.Later in the evening, Leder approached Rudyck again and began to speak with her. He grabbed her buttocks a third and fourth time despite being told not to.At that point, another employee intervened, at which point Leder slapped that person’s face. Leder was then escorted out of the bar by security staff.Leder called Rudyck the next day but she didn’t pick up. He then sent her an email asking for her forgiveness and saying he didn’t remember what happened.Rudyk continued to work at the tavern until November 2017.“At all times while she was working at the Needle, the accused was the complainant’s employer and in a position of authority over her,” the agreed facts state.A sentencing hearing is set for Sept. firstname.lastname@example.org/jonnywakefield