A sexual assault victim who filed a negligence lawsuit against Embassy Suites and its parent company Hilton Worldwide has reached a settlement with the company following a rape that was unwittingly facilitated by the hotel chain’s staff members.
The victim, Chri Marchionda of New Jersey, was traveling for work in April of 2014 when she stayed at the Embassy Suites in Des Moines, Iowa. After she’d spurned a series of advances by a man at the hotel’s bar, staff members provided him with a key to her room, thus facilitating his sexual assault on her.
According to Ms. Marchionda, the sexual assault was perpetrated by 31-year-old Christopher Edward LaPointe, who approached her at the hotel restaurant bar where she was eating dinner.
She rejected Mr. LaPointe’s advances, and when she left the restaurant to return to her room he followed, getting on the elevator and following her until she’d reached the 7th floor and exited the elevator.
He approached her again the next night, sitting down at her table uninvited and drinking heavily. She commented to the hotel bartender about the unwanted attention but was told that he was “harmless.” It was later revealed that after she left the restaurant to return to her room, LaPointe had indicated that “the night is not over yet” in reference to his failed attempts at seducing her.
Hilton Chain’s Employees Facilitated Sexual Assault
The sexual assault took place on Ms. Marchionda’s second night in the hotel, when she had returned to her room for the night. Despite her consistent rejections over a two-night span, LaPointe went to the front desk and requested a key to her room.
It was provided,
In all, the sexual assault was facilitated by the bar manager, the hotel front desk clerk, and the maintenance man, all in violation of corporate policy.