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Alabama Apartment Owner Sued Over Rape

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A pregnant woman raped at gun point by two men in front of her father and son, sued an apartment complex where the crime occurred for its lack of security.

In the circuit court complaint, Graciela Antonio Calderon says she and her husband Hayle Batista were returning to their home at the Landmark at Magnolia Glen apartment complex in Hoover, Ala., when they were approached in the parking lot by Timothy Dumas and Ronald Odel King.

She describes both men as "dangerous criminals with extensive criminal histories" and says they pointed guns at she and husband before forcing them into their apartment, where their child and Calderon's father Blas Antonio were sleeping.

According to the complaint, Dumas and King hit and beat Antonio in the face with a gun and they threatened to hit Calderon's child with a pan from the kitchen. The men then hit Batista in the side of the head with a gun and tied him up with a cable from the television.

Calderon says Dumas and King hit her in the eye and then proceeded to "brutally rape" her in front of her father and child while a third accomplice "stood guard" over the family. The complaint states that when Dumas and King had finished raping Calderon, they took a television set, a cell phone and the family car. The three men were eventually apprehended by the Hoover Police Department.

Plaintiffs Calderon and Batista, on behalf of their son, and Antonio, are suing Landmark Apartment Trust of America, which does business as Landmark Residential Management, because they say it knew of a criminal element in the area, but did not provide security services. The complex had an unmanned guard shack and had poor lighting in the parking lots.

The plaintiffs also claim defendant falsely represented the complex as a "family friendly" community by installing playgrounds and recreational areas "while knowing great risk was imminent" due to the "known and extensive criminal activity in its apartment complex."

Calderon and her husband seek compensatory and punitive on claims of negligence, fraud, breach of contract and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

They are represented by Albert J. Osorio of Birmingham.

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