In April a woman was raped and beaten by a stranger in a parking garage of a well known Boston hotel. According to news sources, the Boston police department asked the Radisson Hotel, who owns the garage, to remain quiet about the attack stating that any publicity could “compromise their chance to catch the individuals" according to a hotel spokesman. Sources also revealed that the police arrested a suspect in the rape but only 11 days later after a second victim was attacked in a similarly violent fashion in the same garage. A controversy has now arisen regarding how much information should be released to the public about sexual assaults.
The same news article revealed that police departments across the country did not have uniform guidelines about releasing warnings to the public about a sexual predator. The Philadelphia police claim that they issue electronic bulletins to media outlets every time a woman reports being raped by someone she didn’t know. Lt. Frank Vanore, a spokesman for the Philadelphia police department, is quoted as saying “We feel it is important to notify the public because any one of these could be someone that is a predator". According to news sources in the Boston case, the first attack occurred on April 19th in the garage at the Radisson Hotel Boston which is located downtown. At approximately 5:30 in the morning, a woman was on the 5th floor in the garage heading to work when a man asked her for directions. The police then say he attacked her and when she started to scream, police said he threatened to throw her to the street below. The attacker raped the woman repeatedly and then ran when he became aware of passerby. On April 30th, a woman identified her attacker from a photo but police could not locate him. At 3:00 a.m. the next morning, less than 12 hours after the alleged rapist was identified, police say he attacked again at the same location at the same garage but this time on the 2nd floor and the second woman claimed that the attacker dragged her by her hair, beat her and raped her. The suspect was arrested later that day.
Incidents like this are not isolated incidents and in fact, are more common than the general public is aware of. Another interesting issue is presented by this case, namely that hotel owners and hotel managers must take all reasonable and necessary steps to make sure that injuries, deaths and criminal activity does not occur to patrons, visitors or workers while on their property. Hotels have a general duty to reasonably protect guests from harm caused by other guests or non-guests and an affirmative duty to make the premises reasonably safe for their guests. An accident or criminal action that takes place on a hotel premises may be grounds for a hotel liability claim or lawsuit. In this instance, the hotel had prior notice of criminal activity on the premises. Hotels have a general obligation to protect their business invitee from “hidden dangers". This may include the following: installing proper lighting in hallways, stairwells, parking lots and other dark areas and making sure that proper security is enforced when there is notice of criminal activity.
Continue reading "
Two Sexual Assaults in One Month At Boston Hotels Raises Many Issues Of Concern