Less than a year after Nightlife Brewing Company opened at Marlins Park, founder Juan O'Naghten has found himself entangled in a mysterious social media battle in which an unidentified user has accused him of sexual assault.
Earlier this afternoon, O'Naghten posted a page-long statement to Nightlife's social media pages, including Facebook and Instagram. The owner addresses what he describes as a "false, anonymous attack" in which an incognito social media profile has accused him of sexual assault. He gives no details about the content of the accusations, and there is no evidence on either his or the beer company's Facebook page. Friends and family have also been targeted.
There is no record in Miami-Dade County courts of any sexual assault case against O'Naghten. He could not be reached at several numbers, but a spokesperson, Tiffany Barranco, said attacks against the beer company founder began several weeks ago with posts on a single Instagram account, which has changed its username repeatedly, and through the account's Instagram Stories, which disappear after a short time. They called O'Naghten "a rapist," Barranco said, though he affirms he has never done anything of the sort.
"As his business has grown, gained traction, and secured placements in more restaurants, so have the attacks," Barranco said in an email.
The letter from O'Naghten also alleges the attackers urged anyone associated with Nightlife, including family, friends, partners, and customers, to boycott the brewery. Indeed, several restaurants and bars have stopped carrying the beer, O'Naghten wrote. But Barranco wouldn't identify those customers.
The following is an excerpt from O'Naghten's letter:
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O'Naghten concludes the post by mentioning his support of the #MeToo movement. He pleads with his followers to "understand and recognize that an anonymous social media account should not be given any credence."
Less than two hours after the letter went live, O'Naghten's Facebook and Instagram posts had received 100 likes and more than a dozen positive comments. One user wrote, "I have met Juan on several occasions and he’s nothing short of a stand up guy. He’s gracious and always warm and welcoming." A few women wrote short phrases such as "We stand behind you" and "We believe you."
Located on the first floor at Home Plate Garage, known as P1, in Marlins Park, Nightlife Brewing Company has been operating since 2017. O'Naghten, a former U.S. Army paratrooper and University of Miami alumnus, has no previous criminal or civil charges filed against him in Miami-Dade court or circuit court.
This report will be updated as more information becomes available.