Brickell bar security guard raped transgender woman in bathroom, police say

Warning: Story contains graphic details

MIAMI – An arrest report obtained by Local 10 News on Tuesday sheds new light on the sexual assault arrest of a security guard at a bar in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood over the weekend.

According to police, Luigi Andre Cavani, 24, working as a contracted security guard at Sweet Caroline karaoke bar, followed a transgender woman into a bathroom and raped her early Saturday morning. The bar is located at 1111 SW First Ave.

The arrest report states that the 31-year-old victim told police that Cavani had come up to her near the bar’s DJ area earlier in the night and told her she “looked good.”

She told police that around 2:30 a.m., she went to the bathroom alone and before she got inside, Cavani grabbed her by the hand and pulled her into a single-stall bathroom, the report states.

Police said he then began to sexually assault her.

“He pinned her against the wall and began to unbutton her pants,” the investigating officer wrote in the report. “She stated she told him no and attempted to stop him. He continued and turned her over.”

The report states Cavani then pulled down the victim’s pants and raped her despite pleas for him to stop.

Eventually, he stopped, police said, and the woman pulled up her pants and left the bathroom. She later confronted Cavani, who replied “I’m sorry, I thought it was cool,” the report states.

The woman told police that she said to Cavani: “I kept on telling you no.”

Miami police officers arrested Luigi Cavani on Sunday and he appeared in bond court on Monday in Miami-Dade County. (MDCR)

She went to Miami police headquarters later that afternoon to report the assault, police said.

Police later interviewed Cavani, who claimed he would “never do something like that,” the report states.

“He stated they went by the bathrooms to a corner to make out and he touched her vagina over the clothing,” the investigating officer wrote.

But police noted in their report that the victim had not undergone any gender-affirming surgery.

Police said Cavani told detectives he “then took her to the bathroom, and when she was facing away, he pulled down her pants and penetrated her.”

“He stated he never heard her say anything but he did realize that there was a moment where she stood up, said no and pulled her pants up to leave,” the officer wrote.

Referencing the confrontation, Cavani told police he told the woman that he thought everything was “cool” because, he claimed, she was “kissing him” and touching his genitals and therefore “thought she wanted to have sex and it’s why he took her into the bathroom.”

Cavani, who lives in Miami-Dade’s Westchester area, has a history of arrests in and out of South Florida, including in Doral, Pinellas County and South Carolina.

In Miami, he’s facing a charge of sexual battery. He was no longer listed in Miami-Dade jail records as of Tuesday afternoon.

Bar responds

A representative for Sweet Caroline released a statement on Monday afternoon that said Cavani was a “contracted security guard” working for an “outsourced company.”

The bar later sent the full statement to Local 10 News, which read:

“Today we learned about an incident that occurred at our establishment over the weekend. We are deeply saddened and disappointed that such an occurrence took place at Sweet Caroline, a venue that prides itself in being a safe and inclusive environment for all individuals. The Sweet Caroline Karaoke Bar administration has been cooperating with City of Miami Police in the arrest of a contracted security guard, who was providing services at our establishment Friday night, as part of our contract with Aegis Unlimited. As soon as we became aware of the incident, we took immediate action and severed our contract with the security company. We take these claims very seriously and the safety of our patrons is our highest priority.”

About the Author:

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.