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Woman Sues Hotel after Employee’s Assault

Posted on in In the News

DAILY HERALD

A Virginia woman is suing the Schaumburg Marriott over an off-duty hotel employee using a master key to enter her room last year and sexually molest her while she slept.

The woman and her attorney, Christopher Hurley of the Chicago firm Hurley, McKenna & Mertz, say they are holding the Marriott responsible for allowing the employee to become intoxicated on the premises and retain use of a hotel master key after his shift.

The suit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, seeks $100,000 in damages.

Schaumburg police said the woman reported the assault early April 23 and that Mauricio Rodriguez, 50, of the 100 block of West Streamwood Boulevard in Streamwood, was arrested at 1:10 a.m. that day.

Rodriguez, a room service waiter at the hotel at 50 N. Martingale Road, brought food to the plaintiff's room a couple times before his shift ended at 10 p.m., Hurley said. He was observed lingering in the corridor outside her room between 11:45 p.m. April 22 and 12:15 a.m. April 23, according to the suit.

"He attempted to go into another woman's room a few minutes before," Hurley said.

Rodriguez entered the plaintiff's room, removed his clothes and laid on top of her on her bed, he added.

"I woke up and this gentleman was on top of me, naked," the plaintiff said. "I pushed him off me and ran down the hall. I was honestly in shock, screaming and yelling."

She took an elevator to the front desk where first security and then Schaumburg police were called. Rodriguez was still in the woman's room when officers arrived.

"He was passed out on the bed with his pants on backward," Hurley said.

Though the woman was at the hotel to make a business presentation the following day, the rest of her night was spent at the Schaumburg police station filing the complaint against Rodriguez. She never made her presentation and flew home on the next available flight.

"It was very unsettling that this occurred, and it concerns me that this could happen again or happen to someone else," she said.

Rodriguez originally was charged with a felony count of attempted criminal sexual assault, but pleaded guilty to a lesser battery charge on June 14 and was sentenced to 60 days in jail.

"The criminal justice system took care of him," Hurley said. "Now we believe it's time for the Marriott to take responsibility."

Among the ways the suit claims the hotel failed in its responsibilities for guest safety were in its amount of security and surveillance in hallways, allowing an employee with master keys to become intoxicated and its amount of security and staff training.

Calls seeking comment from the hotel were not returned.

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