Man charged with drugging woman at his restaurant

Owner of Cedarburg eatery faced earlier allegations, sued women
By 
DAN BENSON
Ozaukee Press staff

A Cedarburg restaurant owner who in the past has been accused of drugging, assaulting and taking nude photos of women was charged Monday with allegedly administering a dangerous or stupefying drug to a woman in 2014.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Ozaukee County Circuit Court:

A woman told police she and Jacob Banas, 38, knew each other from “various committees” they were both on.

On April 8, 2014, the woman and a female friend went to Banas’ restaurant, the August Weber Haus, and he bought the women shots of liquor.

The woman later told police that “there was something brown” in her drink and that afterwards she felt different than she usually does after drinking alcohol and could not remember anything from then through the rest of the evening.

Her friend told police that the woman was crying uncontrollably on the way home at about 9:30 p.m. The woman’s husband said he found her lying on the floor and that she was totally limp when he tried to get her to stand up and she was unable to answer questions.

Sometime after midnight the woman began vomiting, her husband  said.

A specimen of her hair was sent to the FBI crime laboratory and other specialists who found the presence of doxylamine, an ingredient in antihistamines that when combined with alcohol produces the symptoms similar to the woman’s and was in large enough quantities to incapacitate an adult.

This is not the first time Banas has been accused of doping women’s drinks. 

In 2016 and 2017 Banas sued several women for defamation because they had publicly accused him of doctoring their drinks. Some also suspected he had assaulted them or took nude photos of them. Some of the women’s accusations date to 2008. Banas was not charged in those alleged incidents. The 2016 lawsuit was closed without being resolved after a change of venue was requested. The 2017 case is ongoing.

Also in 2017, the Cedarburg Common Council voided the August Weber Haus’ liquor license because of its sporadic business hours. That was after the restaurant was boycotted and the subject of protests by a group called Citizens for a Safer Cedarburg over allegations that Banas had drugged and sexually assaulted several women at the restaurant.

The restaurant is currently closed and for sale.

Banas, whose address is listed on the complaint as being in Clearwater, Fla., appeared in court Monday via video conferencing from the Ozaukee County Jail. Judge Paul V. Malloy set his bail at a $25,000 signature bond.

If Banas is convicted of the charge, he could be sentenced to seven years and six months in prison followed by four years and six months extended supervision, and fined $25,000.

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