Family Sues After Daughter Is Raped At Bahamas Resort
A Pennsylvania family has filed a lawsuit against a resort in the Bahamas after they claimed their 15-year-old daughter was raped by a 58-year-old local man who lured her away. The family said the daughter left her room to take a phone call from a friend but grew concerned when she didn’t return quickly. Concerned, he tracked the daughter’s phone and found her in the cabana area where he saw the man raping his daughter. He intervened on behalf of the daughter and was able to push the man off. The father reported saying he was disturbed by how “collected” the man was in the wake of the assault.
The hotel contends that after learning about the situation, they aided police in their investigation and provided support for the girl and her family. The rapist was arrested and has been formally charged. The lawsuit contends that the man should not have had access to the property and was prevented from legally gambling there. In other words, they exposed the girl to danger by not enforcing guest-only access to their premises. Lastly, the resort markets itself as a family-friendly place, so that will factor into the family’s decision to file suit against the resort.
The defendant has pleaded not guilty to the charges and an attorney representing him states that he committed no crime. It’s unclear on what basis he is attempting to deny the claim as the age of consent in the Bahamas is 16 for opposite-sex couplings (18 for same-sex couplings) and “public homosexuality” is a punishable crime.
What happens now?
The criminal trial will proceed before the civil trial. The lawsuit has been filed in the Bahamas, so, we can only guess at what the process will look like and compare it to Florida law. If the alleged rapist is convicted of rape, then the civil case will proceed with the assumption that the man did indeed assault the girl on the hotel’s property. Questions will be asked concerning whether or not the man was allowed to access the property or if members of the public can stalk and access vacationers. If so, that will become the basis of their negligence allegations. A failure to provide adequate security and close off hotel property from non-customers resulted in the preventable rape of a 15-year-old girl.
The man may be denying the claims to police and his family, but the girl’s father caught the man in the act. The man will not be able to claim consent since the girl was under 16 at the time. So, it looks like a bad case for the alleged rapist and the hotel. The plaintiffs will be able to argue that the hotel negligently allowed a dangerous predator access to a victim pool. Had they taken more precautions, the incident could have been stopped. Ultimately, that is enough to prove liability on the basis of negligent security.
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