A Minneapolis Marriott hotel employee who allegedly sexually assaulted a guest has been charged with 3rd-degree criminal sexual conduct. He was charged Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court. The alleged assault occurred Sunday at the Marriott Residence Inn, 45 South 8th Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The accused was arrested at his home on Sunday (June 28, 2015), charged and released, according to the Star Tribune. He is now in custody and being held on $100,000 bail, according to KSTP.
The employee has been criminally charged, but this will not compensate the woman who was violently harmed. This requires a civil lawsuit. In cases like this, both the employee and the hotel are sued.
This is not the first time a Marriott employee has been accused of sexual assault. In 2011, a lawsuit was filed against the hotel by a woman who alleged an employee of a Marriott in Cook County, Illinois, used the master key to get into her room while she was sleeping and assaulted her (CBS Chicago).
Regardless of the outcome of the criminal proceeding, the woman assaulted on Sunday has the right to pursue her personal injury claim against Marriott in civil court. The focus of the civil proceeding should be both the conduct of employee and Marriott.
Generally, a hotel is legally responsible for an employee’s assault on a guest. In some cases, the evidence may give rise to an additional claim for punitive damages, which are claims for a large enough amount of money to “punish” a company for bad behavior. Questions that need answers include the following:
- Was the employee’s background checked before hiring?
- Was there a pattern of behavior that should have alerted Marriott to the risk of assault?
- Were safety measures in place to protect guests from this kind of harm and, if so, why weren’t they followed?
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